The Paradox of Collaboration

Are you a natural collaborator? Then you are possibly very disengaged!

The paradox of collaborative work is a productivity killer. You will experience it. Work that is collaborative in nature is increasing and won't go away.


As work becomes more complex, it is impossible for one brain to manage its intricacies. Multiple brains are required, with each holding vital pieces of the puzzle.

Collaboration isn't just useful, but necessary. Or everything falls apart.


When your business introduces collaborative working, the following will happen.

- Some workers will take to it like a fish to water

- They will add a lot of immediate value (3-5% of workers add 20-35% value)

- They will become so vital to so many projects, they'll become bottlenecks

- Things won't happen without their involvement

- They will become over-stretched and stressed

- They will become your most disengaged employees


That's a paradox. Your most valuable workes = your most disengaged workers.

They'll be ripe for headhunting. This is the root of the War for Talent and the high-performer discourse.

Rather than fight for this 3-5 % of value adders, wouldn't it be better to design collaborative practice that gets 50%+ of your workforce adding value?


But how? This question will define the future of work.