I’m not a native English speaker, and yet need to write in English. I recently had to write about ‘shituf pe’ula’ (שיתוף פעולה), a Hebrew expression that translates into either collaboration or cooperation in English. I wanted to make sure I’m using the right term, so I turned to Rabbi Google and typed in “collaboration vs. cooperation” which led me to an interesting post on the difference between these two words or rather two concepts, as suggested there. Let me quote here:

When collaborating, people work together (co-labor) on a single shared goal… When cooperating, people perform together (co-operate) while working on selfish yet common goals. [source: Cooperation vs Collaboration]

It goes on trying to define the different types of groups; those who collaborate vs. those who cooperate. Collectives collaborate. Connectives cooperate. The following table best describes the difference.

full quote

Collectives collaborate. Collectives are part of the machinery of the previous era. They give priority to the group over the individual and encourage members to adopt a joint identity that unites them around their shared goal. Connectives cooperate. A connective doesn’t give priority to the group or the individual but instead supports and encourages both simultaneously. There’s no shared sense of identity in a connective because each member is busy pursuing their own goals.

Reading this led me thinking about Tech7 community and the southern technology and innovation ecosystem. My latest project at Tech7 is implementing a CRM system, there, I used the term Collaboration to tag the organizations we are closely working with. I thought I made a mistake. Our ecosystem is actually a connective; each component in the ecosystem is pursuing a different goal on a different path and business type but we still have common goals. Then, I searched for good visuals to display the connectivity, my virtual wandering took me to new places and new understandings.

Thus, a new phase of social evolution is now dawning in which quadriform T+I+M+N [tribes, institutions, markets, networks] societies will emerge to take the lead and a vast rebalancing of relations among state, market, and civil-society actors will occur around the world. To do well in the 21st century and beyond, an advanced, democratic, information-age society will have to incorporate all four forms and make them and their realms function well together, despite their inherent contradictions.  [source: Overview-of-social-evolution-past]

Well, isn’t that exactly what we’re doing here? government, municipality, NGOs, MNCs, startups and social groups are all taking part in this vibrant ecosystem to create more business, more opportunities, more balance between center and periphery in the Israeli economy and more… But we still want to keep this sense of community, don’t we?

At this point I found this diagram with a new point of view: communities of practice collaborate and cooperate.

I suggest adopting  the idea that like communities of practice, we also need to collaborate and cooperate. Like them we need to keep our common goals but should work together on the shared ones as well, in order to sustain the ecosystem and reach everyone’s goals.

So, I ask myself, where is Tech7 in the picture?

Image result for collaboration vs cooperation pdf

source: http://libjournal.uncg.edu/jls/article/view/714/550

Well, other than cooperating and collaborating with different factors from near and far, I guess Tech7 can offer coordination, an extra dimension that boosts the vibrancy of the ecosystem.

I think we should all be connecting the dots and drawing a better future for the region.

What do you think?