Collaboration Ninja 忍者

Work-in-progress: please join in and share your insights

Get the right people from the beginning

Ensuring that your participants are passionate about the collaboration requires that the founder of the collaboration find mechanisms to attract passionate individuals. A compelling vision can attract people to a collaboration, but you also need to trust that everyone really is in it for the vision as this is critical to sustain a successful collaboration. The motivation to contribute your whole self to a collaboration won’t exist if you consider that project as ‘just a job’. One possible way to approach this challenge is to take money out of the equation, at least for the initial phase of your collaboration.

“I have a very simple rule and that is initially for a new project, I never pay people to do something. That makes sure I only get the people who care about the idea: not the people who care about the money. They might be paid later on, but initially they have to do things because they care about what they want to do” – Peter Gloor

So having gathered together a passionate team the next step is to encourage their motivation.Mark Klein considers that incentives for motivation fall into two categories, that of ‘being a hero’ and that of ‘finding your tribe’. “There are many different kinds of incentives that seem to draw people into participating in social computing tools. Some of course have to do with direct self-interest, advertising yourself or contributing to a project that you need the results of. But often the dominant incentives fall into two categories: becoming a hero, or finding your tribe. Finding your tribe is about people finding other people who share their interests and perspectives. Being a hero is a way to make a substantiate contribution to a problem or a community that you care about. Those are both volunteer type incentives. If you want to get people involved, I think you need to find away to hook into those two incentives.” -Mark Klein We need to understand these motivations more deeply and design our collaboration to encourage them. For the purpose of this page, we’re only going to talk about one aspect of the desire to ‘be a hero’: ego.


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