I’m thinking about the barriers to collaboration when I watch this video. The Conversation team have created such a simple tool, so simple to use. But despite its simplicity and easy interface, there will still be people who will not understand or want to use it. Some will resist the tool itself, some academics will resist the mainstream exposure (which can be extremely negative), and some will resist the CC. We have to find a balance between respecting people’s own career choices (to collaborate or not to collaborate) in the face of business/institutional imperatives.

As a small business, we face similar issues. Because our team are in Sydney, Brisbane, Gordonvale, and Townsville, some full-time, others part-time, face-to-face staff meetings are a luxury we do not have. As a result we have to rely on online collaboration tools. And as a very small business, we still depend on free resources of Google, using GSites and GDocs, as well as GMail. And thank goodness I have a good phone plan!

But not everyone takes to these tools like ducks-to-water. What do you do when you have people who really resist using new tools? It’s not an option, nor should it ever be an option, to simply cut off those team members. What we need is a strategy that slowly assists team members to embed a new feature one step at a time. It’s important to NOT bombard them with directive-from-above emails with shape-up or ship out tones (I’m definitely guilty of this, sorry you fellas).

In stepping-away-from-the-keyboard for a moment, I realise that what is needed is patience and gentle encouragement. I need to recognise, appreciate and accept those values that individuals do bring to the team.

I need to continue to keep focused on what drew us together in the first place, not on what tools I think/perceive they’re resisting using.

Food for thought… Cheers, Leesa

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