by Mark Elliott
On Tuesday night (3 July 2014), we announced EpicCollaboration.com to the world at an event here in Melbourne. While it was launched and hosted by Collabforge, we are sticking to our vision of a system that belongs, "to everyone and nobody at the same time." Our goal is a truly collaborative and community-owned platform.
First off, a big thank you to everyone who attended. Scalable and genuine collaboration is something that I’ve been totally focused on for the better part of a decade. So it was inspiring to see so many other wonderful people who also recognise the need for this. (Case in point: see the sticky note that one attendee wrote.)
We were honoured to have attendees from organisations such as the City of Melbourne, VicHealth, Hub Australia, Cofluence, Studio Thick, Enterprising Partnerships, Eaterprises, Centre for the Edge (Deloitte), Open Labour, META, Carlton Connect, NineSigma, Inc., CrowdSpot, Forethought Research, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Doing Something Good, Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E.), The Holos Group, Future First Partners, Positive Bid Project, The Co Learners, Agilicon, Jones & Moriarty Design, The Object, NAB, ANZ, Telstra and more.
The night had three parts:
- Exchanging experiences about past and present collaborations
- Presentation and Q&A on the why, how and what of Epic Collaboration
- Sharing stories about what the future of collaboration might look like
We learned a lot - not the least of which being that there’s a strong interest and appetite to improve the way we collaborate. The room was buzzing, and people continue to share their thoughts on Twitter. We’ve spent the the last few days reviewing outcomes from the event, and we’ll share more learnings soon.
Most importantly, we've realised that our biggest challenge will be maintaining consistent momentum as we scale up this collaboration. Put simply, our simple strategy is to get epic, and stay epic.
We’ve resolved this strategy into three key promises, to ourselves and you:
1. Collabforge will keep using and improving the Epic Collaboration Open Knowledge System
The only way to validate the approach and technolgy behind EpicCollaboration.com is to use it, and we’re going to. We’re setting ourselves the achievable but consistent goal of adding two new stories to the site each week: one of our own, and one from someone else in the community. This will help us discover and connect new stories, patterns, frameworks and approaches, in order to learn about and demonstrate the potential in building knowledge in collaboration design.
2. We will communicate our strategy and learning process openly
As mentioned during the event, all the work that we’ve done on Epic Collaboration so far has been as a series of ‘learning experiments’ based on Lean Startup thinking. In the coming days, we’ll be pulling together the documentation of our strategy and experimental approach, so that you can understand where we’re coming from, and add your own ideas to the mix. From that point onward, we hope to set a new standard in open innovation and collaboration by doing Lean Startup with the community - something we call Lean Collaboration.
3. We will facilitate the co-creation of Epic Collaboration with anyone who is willing and available
We feel a tension right now. We know we need to lead in this early phase, but we also know we need to be as inclusive as possible. According to our approach for scaling collaboration, this tension is only natural - a sure way to kill a collaboration is to try to scale up too quickly. Tuesday's event gave us lots of great insight, but it also challenged our core team in important ways. So we need to take time to re-establish consonance in our core team, before developing the best way to include the next round of willing and available collaborators.
That’s why epiccollaboration.com isn’t open to registration and online participation just yet. We want to ensure that when we do involve others, it’s on a sustainable and supportive platform - but we’re getting close...
What does this mean for you? The best thing to do now is to stay connected.
Next steps to come soon. We can’t wait to get epic and stay epic with all of you!