Collaboration Design

A step-by-step guide to successful collaboration

When great results depend on working with others, you can’t afford to leave things to chance.

In this book, Mark Elliott shares the collaboration design method that has seen his firm deliver high-impact results in hundreds of initiatives with government agencies over the last decade.

Grounded in Mark’s doctoral research, the Collabforge Method is a proven, step-by-step process for bringing people together, keeping them together, and delivering great results.

What you’ll learn

The 36 included tools will help you to:

  • Determine the value of collaboration for a given situation
  • Communicate its vision and value to others
  • Bring people together to gain their commitment and participation
  • Work through and resolve challenging tensions
  • Sustain or grow your group to any size needed

What’s been said about Collaboration Design:

Collaboration Design translates the vague promise of collaboration into concrete, specific and practical steps. Whether you are designing a product, policy or service, Mark Elliott’s engaging analysis of successful collaboration makes a powerful case for why collaboration matters, and clearly lays out how to do it.’

BETH SIMONE NOVECK, Professor, New York University, and Director, The Governance Lab

‘Mark Elliott’s research is meticulous and his prose is direct and free of jargon. I recommend Collaboration Design to anyone involved in or interested in online and offline collaboration.’

HOWARD RHEINGOLD, bestselling author of The Virtual Community

‘Over 30 years of work, I’ve learned that collaboration determines success. I’ve also been lucky enough to experience first-hand the down-to-earth mentorship of Mark Elliott and Collabforge. This book effectively captures many years of practice and presents an easy-to-understand set of methods and tools anyone can use.’

CHRIS VEIN, former Deputy U.S. Chief Technology Officer, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Where can I buy Collaboration Design?

Available in e-book and Kindle formats, paperback and hardcover

Collaboration Design Table of Contents

Part I – Understanding Collaboration 1
  1  What Collaboration Isn’t 3
  2  What Collaboration Is 9
  3  Why Collaboration Often Falls Short 17
  4  When Collaboration Succeeds 25
  5  Collaboration Design 38
  6  The Three Principles of Collaboration 46

Part II – The Collabforge Method   59
  7  Decide   64
      Tool 1: Your Value Proposition for Collaboration   67
      Tool 2: The Collaboration Premium   71
      Tool 3: Support for Collaboration   76
      Tool 4: The Shared Capability Baseline   82
      Tool 5: Space for Collaboration   85

  8  Convene   92
      Tool 6: A Draft Collaboration Design   94
      Tool 7: The Why–How–What Pitch   96
      Tool 8: Participant Mapping for the Core, Community and Crowd   99
      Tool 9: The Double-Sided Value Proposition   103
      Tool 10: The Ask   105
      Tool 11: Inputs to Your First Group Discussion   107

  9  Cocreate   113
       Tool 12: The Facilitation Runsheet   114
      Tool 13: Individual Perspectives   117
      Tool 14: The Why–How–What Discussion   120
      Tool 15: Ideas on Display   123
      Tool 16: Aligned Understandings   127
      Tool 17: The LEGO Challenge   129
      Tool 18: A Shared Definition of Collaboration   133
      Tool 19: The Collaboration Plan   136
      Tool 20: Detailed Participation Map and Core Formation   140

  10  Resolve  145
      Tool 21: Question-Storming   148
      Tool 22: Hearts and Elephants   151
      Tool 23: Check-in   154
      Tool 24: Soliciting Constructive Feedback   157
      Tool 25: Brainstorm, Bundle and Bind – the 3Bs   160
      Tool 26: A Collaboration Self-Assessment   163
      Tool 27: The Perspective Modeller   170

  11 Maintain 175
       Tool 28: A Single Source of Truth   176
      Tool 29: Refocusing and Realising Outcomes   180
      Tool 30: The 3Cs Engagement Plan   185
      Tool 31: An Activity Catalyst   190

    12 Grow   195
      Tool 32: The Golden Staircase   196
      Tool 33: A Growth Assessment   202
      Tool 34: Onboarding Participants   206
      Tool 35: A 3Cs Analysis of Technologies for Growth   211
      Tool 36: When to Stop Collaborating   217

Conclusion 220