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Why We are Reluctant to Share Information


In the Agrarian Economy, land ownership indicated wealth. If you didn’t own land, you worked for a landowner. And if you gave away land, you gave away wealth. In the Industrial Economy, financial capital replaced land. Similar to land, capital is a pie that doesn’t expand; when you give it away, you no longer have it.

Now we’re transitioning to the Information Economy, where the most valued asset is knowledge. Unlike land or capital, you can share information without losing it. In fact, those who share are the wealthiest.

Here’s the challenge with sharing information. Our historical systems have conditioned us to guard our valuables, rather than share. How can we overcome this?

Earlier this week, John Tocci, Lila Tocci, and I attended the Collaboration Forum (no relation to BIMForum), where a group of AECO professionals gathered to talk about (what else?) collaboration.

Collaborate (v): To Cooperate Treasonably


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. 



"F Words" of Collaboration


A discussion of “what it is?”, “what it does?”, and “why do it?” resulted in the “F Words” of collaboration.
  • One group defined collaboration as: getting people who share a common objective talking, relating, and feeling together.

  • Collaboration creates an opportunity to have fun on a project.

  • It’s how you would behave, if you were working on a project with a group of friends. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Collaborating is personally fulfilling, especially when you personalize the mission of the asset.
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.