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Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results Hardcover – April 14, 2009
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Hansen starts with fundamentals. Firms exist to create economic value (as well as to capture and sustain value into the future). In most business books, collaboration is unmoored from any consideration of economic value creation and treated as an inherent good. Hansen, in contrast, anchors his analysis in a hard-nosed economic analysis of when collaboration creates value, that includes not only a project's benefits, but also the costs of collaboration and the opportunity cost of foregoing alternatives. The author's analysis leads to counter-intuitive findings--not all collaboration is good and more is not better. His analysis slices through the fluff of so many books on collaboration and brings readers to the hard edges of value creation.
The book follows a clear structure. After framing collaboration in terms of its benefits, Hansen provides a systematic list of obstacles that inhibit cooperation in many firms. His list is the closest to a mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive taxonomy of barriers that I have seen. Hansen also includes a diagnostic to help managers assess the specific barriers to cooperation that they face. The book then provides extremely practical steps to enhance coordination within a firm.Read more ›
Collaboration by Morten Hansen is highly recommended reading for those who want to create collaboration rather than just read about it. Collaboration is often held up as a universal virtue - something we all should do to be good citizens. This makes books on collaboration preachy, reading more like a sermon than a serious analysis. This book is serious analysis presented in a clear, logical and actionable way.
Hansen covers this complex issue in 169 pages of tightly focused, well researched and action oriented approach. This makes the book, highly recommended for executives and managers looking to figure out how to create the right kind of collaboration in their companies.
However, the book has some serious limitations and hence the 4 star review. First it does not address technology at all. This is a major weakness given the flowering of collaboration technologies and systems. A book in 2009 without a discussion of this is somewhat incomplete. The second major weakness is that Hansen talks almost exclusively about executive/corporate collaboration - head office type of work rather than the operational, sales, service problem solving collaboration that drives and sustains performance. Both of these gaps seem to be due to his limited research base (large companies and product development)- perhaps areas for a second book, which would be welcome.
Hansen provides a realistic and practical view of collaboration.Read more ›
Hansen begins by enumerating several collaboration "traps":
-collaborating in hostile territory
-overcollaborating (it is refreshing for an author to suggest that his thesis and the title to his book isn't universally applicable)
-overshooting the potential value
-misdiagnosing the problem
-implementing the wrong solution
He suggests that the solution to these traps is "disciplined collaboration ... the leadership practice of properly assessing when to collaborate (and when not to) and instilling in people both the willingness and ability to collaborate when required"
The three steps in disciplined collaboration are to:
-evaluate opportunities for collaboration
-spot barriers to collaborate
-tailor collaboration solutions
In general, his case for collaboration is that it provides better innovation, better sales, and better operations - all of which can lead to sales growth, cost savings, and asset efficiency.
The four barriers to successful collaboration are:
-not invented here syndrome
The three levers to tear down these barriers are:
-unify people, reduce motivational barriers and get buy-in toward a common goal
-encourage T-shaped management that rewards both independent results and cross-unit contributions.
-create nimble, not bloated networks across organizations that deliver results
Finally the author discusses how you grow to be a collaborative leader.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book to serve as an inspiration to how teamwork is key to sustainable rebranding as Detroit continues to climbPublished 14 months ago by gregory p blass
The book uncovers a lot of what goes on while creating networks at a company to make sure collaboration results in success.Published 16 months ago by Muanis
It still takes more than one to collaborate so you better share the book for results.Published 21 months ago by Chuck
I highly recommend this book to leaders of men and women. Good collaboration by the leader must be intentional and consistently taking place if the business is to grow. Read morePublished on September 30, 2014 by John Hatcher