Creating a Culture of Collaboration

AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
Creating a Culture of
While this book has emphasized the technologies and tools
that lawyers and those who work with lawyers can use to
collaborate, selecting the right tools alone does not guarantee
that a collaboration effort will be successful. Collaboration is
a profoundly human endeavor. The success of collaboration
depends primarily on the actual ways people work together.
The human and cultural behavior between the collaborators
will drive, dictate, and ultimately determine the success of
your collaboration projects. If you ignore or downplay the
human factors, you are setting up your project for failure.
A Closer Look at Collaboration
Collaboration takes place at the intersection of the individual
efforts of the people involved. At the same intersection will be
several different cultures, depending on the particular indi-
viduals. The cultures may mesh well with each other, or they
may react poorly and refuse to mix at all. In most cases, the
collaborators end up somewhere in between the two extremes.
Collaboration tool implementation will be most successful
when it takes place in a culture that already accepts collabora-
tion, when the tool is introduced with respect for the existing
culture. If a spirit of collaboration does not already thrive
in the culture of an organization or between organizations,
more work will be necessary to encourage collaboration. If
the tools you introduce do not reflect and respect the existing
collaboration patterns of a firm or company, you may run into

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