Through WWII, “collaborate” was defined as to cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one’s country. (Originally heard from Autodesk’s Chuck Mies, who often starts presentations quoting the dictionary!)
John Barnes, from Linbeck, had an interesting thought on this, when John Tocci shared it with the Collaboration Forum.
Just maybe both definitions are still applicable today and quite germane to our discussion. True collaboration involves disruptive behavior and can involve actions and discussions that in some circumstances could be considered "treasonous" or perhaps "treacherous." Certainly we don't per se have an enemy occupying our country however: I have been on projects where at first the key project stakeholders acted like "enemies" and going to a meeting in their offices at times resembled "occupied" lands. Only through a "treasonous" act such as the contractor agreeing in public with the architect, or a member of the design team acknowledging a subcontractors new- different idea in an owners meeting did these acts of treason turn into positive team results. These types of situations carry the seeds of true collaboration.
Earlier this week, John Tocci, Lila Tocci, and I attended the Collaboration Forum (no relation to the BIMForum), where a group of AECO professionals gathered to talk about (what else?) collaboration.