What Makes Collaboration Work?

From 2009-2015, Howard Gardner and other researchers from The Good Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education engaged in research on “Good Collaboration,” interviewing individuals involved in cross-organizational partnerships to see what worked and what didn’t in collaborative experiences. This research resulted in the creation of the Good Collaboration Toolkit, a resource that guides participates in the facilitation of successful collaborations through activities, questions, and cases structured around eight core elements.

Now, Harvard Magazine reports on a new study that adds credence to the idea that a good collaboration isn’t just based on a shared intellectual connection. Instead, emotional and interactional considerations are just as important in making collaboration between two teams a success. While a more traditional view might hold that cognitive aspects of collaboration are most important, this study (by Lamont, Boix Mansilla, and Sato) demonstrates that spending the time to cultivate an emotional bond is just as crucial.

What do you think that it takes for a collaboration to succeed?


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