Collaboration and LOs LO26238

From: Sajeela M ramsey (
Date: 02/27/01

Replying to LO26212 --

Peg, in response to your very pragmatic (and I might add useful)

On Sat, 24 Feb 2001 19:34:00 -0800 Peggy Stuart <> writes:

> I am having some difficulty getting my head around operationalizing
>the concept of collaboration. (snip) ....there seems to be little
>indication from this definition as to how the act of collaboration
>impacts decision-making. This leads me to ask this listserv three
>questions, what is collaboration, why is collaboration important to a LO,
>and what is the best way to go about it? To maybe start things off ...
>Senge says (snip) ..Without this shared decision making, there can be no
>shared creativity or authorship... (snip) I would then assume that
>collaborators should be involved in the entire planning process:
>analysis, planning, and implementation of the plan and evaluation of the
>process. Thoughts?

My response:

The idea of collaboration is one thing --- and operationalizing the idea
is where the rubber really meets the road. I would say it depends on the
circumstances in terms of how much to collaborate in decision-making. But
one thing is for sure (from my perspective); decision-making is a basis of
power and authority and is intricately intermingled with empowerment,
conflict management, and working with differences. Decision-making is a
pivotal part of organization structure (ergo your operational concerns are
right on). Decision-making structures impact the organization culture and
vice-versa. Therfore it behooves all members of an organization to
understand decision-making systems and their proper applications in order
to be able to decide what decision-making methodology is the called for in
a particular situation. Some rules of thumb:

Some decision-making modalities:

ICO crieteria (Schutz, 1995):

I - is inclusive, C - allows control or influence for all, O - is open
and honest)
1) Command
        Leader decides - no ICO at all
time is a factor
crisis situations
creativity not required
2) Consultative/participative
        Leader decides after soliciting input - some I, some O, no C
time is a factor
creativity not required
3) Consensus
       Group decides - some C, little I, little to no O
time is not a factor
creativity is required
commitment/ownership is sought
4) Concordance
       Group decides - most I,C and O of all
time is not a factor
creativity is required
commitment/ownership a must

1. Discuss/brainstorm.
2. Everyone shares their point of view.
3. Write down/phrase issue to be decided on as a question.
4. One by one each participant says "yes"
or "no".
5. Anything besides a simple "yes" will be counted as a "no".
6. A hesitant "yes" will count as "no".
7. If there are any "no's" then re-discuss the issue asking:
"What will it take to change your "no" into a "yes"?
( Concordance Is fairer then consensus -- uses ICO criteria to ensure
5) Alignment -
        Group decides - more I,O, some C - (next best to confluence)
 time is not a factor
creativity is required
commitment/ownership a must

Facilitator - manages conversation rigorously Participants - make or
object to proposals
a) P1 makes a proposal
b) F : "Is anyone not aligned with the proposal?"
c) P2 objects to P1 proposal
d) P1 and P2 converse one-on-one ,completing when:
* P2 objector declares their alignment or
* P1 changes proposal or withdraws the proposal
e) If P1 changes their proposal the process begins again; continues
until all Ps are aligned.
Conversation is carefully managed by F:
If P indicates by silence their alignment they can't object later or
stop participating.
Only 2 Ps speak at a time, others reserve opinions.
Proposal opposed by too many? Shelf it!
6) Multi-voting/Voting*
         Group decides - some I, little to no C, little to no O (* kills
time is a factor
including everyone

Hope this helps answer your questions Peg.
Sunny day,

Sajeela Moskowitz Ramsey
OD Specialist/Culture Generalist
2432 Villanova Drive/Vienna, VA. 22180
703 573 7050/ SajeelaCore


Sajeela M ramsey <>

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