Why cooperation is our superpower
Good for innovation and (social) change, and its future
Collaboration is our superpower. Among other things, it leads to more innovation and helps with (social) change.
In this newsletter, therefore, more about cooperation. Challenges, benefits and the future of cooperation.
PS. Interprofessional collaboration is becoming increasingly important in healthcare. I told about this a few months ago at the Academy of Paramedical Studies of HAN Arnhem-Nijmegen.
As a result of that lecture, I made this Dutch video of 19 minutes (also applicable if you work outside healthcare, especially from 11 minutes and 48 seconds).
Cooperation as a superpower
When preparing for my lecture for the HAN, it became clear to me that collaboration is an essential skill, both within and outside the healthcare sector.
But why? What does good cooperation lead to? Two things emerge from the literature:
it is good for innovation;
it is good for (social) change.
1. Good for innovation
Collaboration is good for a company's innovative capacity. According to this article, this is mainly due to the sharing of knowledge.
As you probably know yourself: by sharing knowledge, others can further associate with it, build on it or be inspired to go in new directions.
Or like this well-known saying: 'Innovation is a contact sport.' You devise new products, services or strategies together.
Good collaboration takes time
This principle does not only imply with your colleagues within a company. It also applies to organizations, their suppliers and significants.
Take ASML in Veldhoven in the Netherlands, a world leader in building high-quality chip machines.
In this documentary by VPRO Tegenlicht, experts argue that if you move the factory to another place in the world, you don't take ASML's performance with you. A large part of ASML's strength also lies in the essential cooperation and specificity they have with their suppliers.
Insight: good cooperation takes time.
2. Good for social change
The same is true for major social problems, such as poverty, social inequality and unhealthy lifestyles, according to this Stanford article. They argue that one individual, one professional group or one organization cannot do too much about this.
Such a problem requires collective cooperation. Success factors they describe include a common agenda, continuous communication, and determination.
Of course there are plenty of situations in which more cooperation does not lead to better results. In most jobs, you also have tasks that you complete best on your own.
But since the rise of artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT, a lot of these tasks get increasingly automated. What computers are less good at is cooperation, based on empathy, experience, and interpreting body language.
In short, collaboration is important. Now and also in the future. It's our superpower.
Articles, books, podcasts, videos, documentaries and more on this theme.
1. READ / This article on Knowable looks into factors that make people work more (and better) together.
2. READ / In the well-known book Humankind by Rutger Bregman makes short work of the idea that humans are intrinsically competitive. As human beings, we prefer to work together rather than compete.
3. WATCH / I love The IT Crowd series. When it comes to collaboration and teams, I always think of this clip (1 minute):
🙏 Thank you for reading
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