In the dialogue about positive change in Detroit, individuals routinely emphasize the need for collaboration. Instinctively, we know that collaboration is a good thing — two heads are better than one (of course there can always be too many chefs in the kitchen and too many cliches for an article). But what are the keys to successful collaborations? How do we know that we are getting the best people together for the best end-result? And how do we measure success?
In this issue of thedetroiter.com, I introduce two of our newest contributors, Julia Gluesing and Ken Riopelle. They have been collaborating for more than 25 years as consultants and business owners (Cultural Connections, Inc.), as faculty members at Wayne State University, and as husband and wife. The focus of their work is, not surprisingly given the subject of this issue, the science of collaboration.
Their research has taken them into a broad range of organizations and communities from business, to government, to non-profit, to education, to design. Their passion is learning about how different forms of collaboration such as global teams, collaborative innovation networks (or COINs), science teams, and creative communities like ours here in Detroit are structured. They investigate how collaborations grow, and what kinds of results they produce, and why.
Julia is a business anthropologist and Ken is an information scientist, a great combination for getting to the bottom of things while keeping the bigger picture in mind. They are curious people, and we will all learn something about collaboration as they share the results of their work with us from time to time. Let us hear from you, too, about your own experiences and views on collaboration in Detroit. Ken and Julia will certainly welcome your ideas.
I also reached out to our resident collaborative think tank the Detroit Creative Corridor, who will share their thoughts on successful collaboration. And finally, because I think the beginning steps of any successful collaborative project is to gather the experts and sift through the collective information, I reached out to creative professionals outside of Detroit who are successes in their chosen fields and asked them to share insights about what steps they took and what steps Detroit can take for success .