The Economist on the collaboration curse

manThe Economist this week featured an interesting article in its Schumpeter column on the often hidden problems of the emphasis on collaboration throughout business and its impact on productivity, creativity and original thought.

As a fan of collaboration in general, I was pleased and amused to read a lovely summary of the downsides it creates when it receives unthinking endorsement and emphasis.

It captures very well the potential issues that it creates and the tendency to see the benefits but fail to read the costs. It highlights our inability to really multitask (something that I have always noticed when walking behind someone on their mobile phone in the London streets!), the already well-understood costs of disruption and the mental set-up/set-down time that serious concentration exacts. All of which make collaboration great…up to a point.

A great short poke at over-emphasis on one feature at the expense of others!