I might get a few naysayers that will say not everyone achieves the best results in a team environment or as collaborators. It does depend on the context and it does take a variety of approaches to get the best ideas but imagine, as an example, how the music industry would have changed without the Lennon/McCartney, Page/Plant or the Jagger/Richards collaborations and what the rest of their band (team) helped them create.
What’s important about the musical collaboration analogy is the assumption that a degree of the creative process needs to happen individually but the best result comes from the notion of sharing ideas and building on those as a team.
One individual or process is not the sole contributor to the solution of a problem.
Right or wrong?
Would you agree that each of these musical collaborators went on by themselves to create success on their own? They sure did but never to the success that their original collaboration gave them. Does that predicate that there was some form of symbiotic relationship in those collaborations?
It certainly seems like it to me.
Does the notion of interdependency drive the best results or does it really matter? Is collaboration bound by an interdependency or can two like-minded but fundamentally opposing forces collaborate to create something of value? Can the simple act of collaboration enhance the opportunity to excel or does the relationship require a form of symbiotic cohesion to be successful?
With those questions in mind we leave you with the following short thoughts on the relationship between a clog and a sock.
We have included a brief conversation at the end of this story that occurred between and friend and I. We thought the conversation was funny but it does, in fact, demonstrate a fundamental difference in thinking. The story idea (with comedic intent) was presented by my friend, written by me and presented back to my friend as a draft. What resulted showed me that we were thinking along two completely distinct and separate paths.
The Clogs vs The Sock
The clog is rigid. Unyielding. Practical.
The sock is flexible. Soft. Aesthetic.
The sock is hidden within the clog.
Its function is hidden from view, its aesthetic overwhelmed by the rigid nature of the clog.
Without the clog the sock would suffer. It cannot stand on its own. Is there a symbiotic relationship between the sock and the clog? Certainly the clog can survive without the sock but not in reverse. Without the clog the sock would be essentially useless as a form of protection for the foot.
There is no interdependency.
The relationship becomes an issue of comfort.
The sock makes the foot feel comfortable. Without the sock the foot can certainly survive but that’s all it is doing. Surviving. The clog, in its effort to stave off the elements, does not, in many cases, concern itself with comfort. Function is the prime purpose that defines the existence of the clog. A housing that can have a fine aesthetic but is still simply housing.
Without the sock as part of the complete footwear system the clog is simply an empty shell.
Without the clog as part of the complete footwear system the sock is an aesthetically pleasing comforting cover.
Do they need each other?
Yes and no.
But don’t you think that when they collaborate there is serendipity?
They create a beauty that can only be described as Utopian.
My friend’s initial response:
In a word or three….Wrong wrong wrong……
“Function is the prime purpose that defines the existence of the clog.”
Nope. The clog is all about form. It doesn’t give a shit about what fits in it or how. Whatever goes in it has to mould to its form regardless of function……..
Me: That’s the problem with how the clog makers think.
My friend: “Without the clog the sock would suffer. It cannot stand on its own. Is there a symbiotic relationship between the sock and the clog? Certainly the clog can survive without the sock but not in reverse. Without the clog the sock would be useless.”
Incorrect. Without the sock there is pain — blisters, chaffing etc.
Me: Sure, there may be some chafing but the foot adapts to its surroundings thereby the sock is not a necessity but an enhancement. Without the sock the foot can survive but may not thoroughly enjoy the experience. With both, the experience of walking becomes pleasurable and thereby taking focus away from the system itself (clog and sock) and simply enhances the walking experience.
I am still waiting for a response……….
Over to you:
Collaboration? Or bust? Is there an interdepenency necessary in collaboration to generates the best results?