Why collaboration is like ice cream

What’s your gut reaction to the word “collaboration”?

For many, the idea of collaboration is loaded with positive promise. The opportunity to make great things happen by working with others. Happy times. For others, the word collaboration evokes a far more jaded response – with memories of being drawn into way too many meetings, workshops and post-it note sessions…

Embrace the 'black hole'

It was supposed to be a peaceful lunch. A moment of respite in a cafe between meetings.

Only, the two guys at the table next to me weren’t making it easy for me to relax. As I took a sip of my coffee, I could feel the momentum of their conversation building. One of them (let’s call him Willy) had a brochure laid out on the table, and was enthusiastically pointing to different spots on it whilst talking at a breakneck speed. The other – let’s call him Biff – had his arms crossed and was frowning with a quizzical look.

When less is more

In the world of improvised theatre*, there's a classic game called 'reducing scene'. The performers start by improvising a one minute scene. Immediately after that, they repeat the same scene but in half the time – much to the delight of the audience. Just when you thought the fun had finished, the players perform the same scene in half the time again...