As part of a presentation I am preparing for a public health forum exploring enabling technologies, I have created a slide that I think summarizes why people collaborate. It was a bit of epiphany when it came to me so I thought I would share it in case it had value to you.
What I am proposing is that there are essentially three reasons people collaborate, and these can be connected to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs .
I really should be working on something else at the moment, so here are very brief explanations for the three reasons:
1. Get’er done! No this is not just for rednecks, anyone with a specific deliverable or project to complete will collaborate if it helps them complete the work. This is your typical work oriented motivation. I align it with the lower part of Maslow’s Hierarchy because it usually related to work and earning money which is what we generally use to fulfill most of our lower level needs.
2. The second reason is essentially social combined with a belief that maybe many minds are more powerful than one. I align this with the middle of Maslow.
3. The final reason we collaborate has to do with Self Actualization, that nirvana state we presumably all strive for and which is often considered the underlying motivation for continued learning.
Well there you have it, what do you think? Does this ring true? Is it useful?