Several studies show a clear correlation between collaboration and high performing teams. Here, we delve into the thoughts of Benito Berretta, Managing Director Americas at Hyper Island, to discover why he thinks collaboration is only possible when two conditions are met at the same time.

Leading the change through collaboration

For me, collaboration doesn’t happen unless connection and contribution come together in a sort of superposition or intertwined state.

You don’t have to go far in daily life to experience collaboration. Regardless of the social or professional context, collaboration has multiple benefits, whether it’s for your wellbeing or to achieve positive results at work.

When we make the effort to contribute and connect in a collaborative environment, it can bring people together with a variety of skills and cultural backgrounds, with various viewpoints, to come up with the best solutions to complex problems.

Through collaboration, we can begin to lead the change.

Viola Davis

When asked about the art of giving authentic performances, the actor Viola Davis, said, “I have a process…hopefully other people do, too….but one of the things that I do when I collaborate is, whatever the [other] actor gives me, I use.”

Let’s explore this further.

If we give knowledge the attribution of mass (substance of any kind that covers theory and semantics) and connection to the attribution of energy (the flow of ideas, knowledge, joy or romance) there is a place where we can fish for fallen light, an intersection where collaboration happens. Namely, when mass encounters energy, and when knowledge encounters connected minds. (See Figure 1).

Figure 1

The formula behind successful collaboration

Collaboration can be the value driver behind long-and short-term success.

If you’re simply connecting with another human being, then you’re pretty much just hanging out, and that’s great. But there’s no true collaboration unless you are contributing with the other person in the pursuit of a common goal.

To understand the second part of the equation, we need to go back to how mathematicians use the theorem proof, which is to look for necessary and sufficient conditions.

Contribution needs a necessary condition to happen. That is the existence of relevant knowledge (let’s call it mass), but also a sufficient condition that is a true and sound connection (let’s call it energy) to spark the combinations of the new, as described by Viola Davis in the earlier quote.

Now, there is a nice way to get our minds around this superposition and it is to visualize a T-shaped process where the vertical part of the letter refers to the knowledge that enables the contribution and the horizontal part is the energy that triggers the connection. (See Figure 2).

Figure 2

“If you contribute you can stay”

“If you contribute you can stay” it is an internal mantra

that I feel is very dear to me. It summarizes the current state of our network in a very compelling and challenging way. Collaboration is the secret glue that binds together both collective responsibility and individual ownership a potent cocktail for the development of our Hyper Island ecosystem.

Further reading

The friendship of physicists, Planck and Einstein extended further than playing together (one the piano and the other the violin), their music dialog extended to the physics realm. Einstein’s relativity equation created a relationship between mass and energy, while Planck correlated mass with frequency. So, mass and energy are intrinsically related through frequency, at the end of the day, collaboration is based on frequency, somehow a very prosaic measure of performance.

For more on frequency check out Alex Pentland’s “Social Physics” book.

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Article updated on: 13 March 2024