I was preparing some slides for the Ark Group Enterprise 2.0 conference, at which I seem to have a rather cavernous slot on the afternoon of 2 April, when a thought occurred …
… in a social media context, is there any recognisable difference between communication and collaboration … or do they essentially become one and the same??
As I seem to do with increasing frequency these days, I consulted Wikipedia for quick definitions of both – I’m either getting old and very forgetful or I’m developing an unhealthy dependency on Wikipedia – neither gives me a warm feeling!!
Anyway … according to the great book:
“Communication can be defined as the process of meaningful interaction among living beings. It is the act of passing information and the process by which meanings are exchanged so as to produce understanding.”
Nicely put … and:
“Collaboration is a structured, recursive process where two or more people work together toward a common goal—typically an intellectual endeavour that is creative in nature — by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.”
Also nicely put!
So, on the face of it, different activities. However, I’m not sure that the boundary between them is so clear-cut – I think they are interlinked and overlapping … they happen together and at the same time – one can’t happen without the other in the conversational context of a social media environment. And, in a social media powered corporate environment in which all participants are working towards a common goal, the boundaries are even more blurred.
Yet another warning shot over the bows of the internal communications profession!!