Archive for the ‘collaboration diary’ Tag

The Collaboration Diary 3

12/9/19

An email arrived from Doug with a radical rethink of our approach. Based on some successful books currently on the market in the business category and some previous work we did together inspired by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies, he suggested we create “a book that you can dip into or read cover to cover” constructed from smaller sections carefully organised, as opposed to one long coherent body of text. This strikes me as a way we can create a really energetic, genuinely readable book.

That email was at 04:43 – I really hope Doug is abroad somewhere in another time zone! It was preceded at 03:27. In that earlier email Doug agreed with my point about how to ensure our tome is distinctive: “I think we need to make sure to keep focus on the thing that will make this book distinctive from the competition – the idea of Dirty Collaboration over and above the rather sterile notions of teamwork that are the norm

 

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The Collaboration Diary

Day 2 – Monday 9th Sept

As I left the writing retreat and the island, the flow of documents and emails from my end ceased. I got up early to write a brief Audiences document to send to Doug and an even shorter Scope one, derived from yesterday’s workshop. That was the lot, the last outputs from five days intensive work. Then onto the boat back to the mainland.

So from intense action on my side, batted off as best possible by a busy Doug at the other, we went to radio silence all day. We both have significant other work so it will be interesting to see how stop&go the process will be. And who will fire off the next note…

The Collaboration Diary

Day 1 – Sun 8th Sept 2019

While out walking and talking with Jonathan Gosling, the leader of the writing retreat I was attending on Lambay Island, Co. Dublin, Ireland, I had the notion that to reflect the meta dimension of our book – Doug and I collaborating on a book about collaborating – we should each keep a diary of how the process looked from our side.

I got back to my desk in the library of the White House and fired off a short email to suggest the diary idea to Doug. He swiftly replied: “That diary idea is a superb one.”

So this is Day 1 my side, the day of that email. On this writing retreat I have been kicking the tyres of Doug’s original proposal. That process is largely recorded here in these blog posts which I used each day as a warm-up:

  • Adventures in the Writing Trade: Day 1
  • Adventures in the Writing Trade: Day 2
  • Adventures in the Writing Trade: Day 3
  • Adventures in the Writing Trade: Day 4

Following the one-to-one with Jonathan I decided to broaden things out after much concentrated attention on the Proposal and related documents to outside media in the form of a recommended video: Margaret Heffernan’s Super-chicken TED talk.

I did some more work on the Structure/Contents page, trying to come up with something I felt happier with, more convincing and consistent.

Then I read parts of Doug’s Collaborative Working Pocketbook to get a better grasp of those perspectives of his I found hardest to grasp from paper alone (the concise proposal).

In the afternoon we did a workshop on Readership from which I further developed my thinking on Audience and Scope.

But Doug’s response to the diary suggestion was the key event of the day: “That diary idea is a superb one. But could be a significant chunk of the book. An evolutionary process.”

I was delighted we felt the same about that. And delighted he pushed the idea further.

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