Achieving collaborationis difficult in any environment. People have to set aside their egos, trust one another, and share their expertise willingly.
People are more prone to collaborate with others who are similar to them. So how, then, do you get dissimilar people to collaborate? The trick is to find the common ground between such individuals, and social media — blogs, wikis, online collaboration tools, etc. — can play a huge role in doing so.
Many skills are difficult to train and develop. Some experts, for example, contend that leadership is more nature than nurture. Not so with collaboration. PricewaterhouseCoopers, for instance, has had great success in training employees to collaborate by targeting communication skills, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and networking.
Many managers believe that teams collaborate best when the roles of members are flexible but the group has a clear idea of how to get from A to B. But the reverse is actually true, according to a study of more than 50 teams in different industries. That research found that collaboration increased when people had clearly defined roles but were uncertain about how to achieve the team's goals.