Me to We …
… I’ve talked a couple times about the accelerating shift in knowledge worker activity, from ‘I’ work (the tasks we do on our own) to ‘WE’ work (the tasks we do with others),… and have labeled this as the rise in collaboration. Recently I found a new book that looks at collaboration in a different light. The book is What’s Mine is Yours, by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. What caught my eye was the books cover, highlighting in bright yellow the ‘ours’ of ‘Yours’ in the title. Not only was this an effective way to imply a deeper meaning, or double meaning - ‘what’s mine is yours’ and ‘what’s mine is ours’,… but in a very simple way defined the very objective of collaboration; taking the thoughts, ideas, perspectives of two or more individuals (mine or me) and braiding them in a way to create a shared (ours or we) thought, idea or perspective. So I read on.
The book introduces the term ‘collaborative consumption’,… defined as ‘enabling people to realize the enormous benefits of access to products and services over ownership’, moving from hyper-consumption measured by what we own to collaborative consumption measured by what we share. While not overly zealous about the environment, we are all sickened by the realities of things like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,… a floating pile of junk, mostly plastic, that covers an area twice the size of Texas and as much as 100 feet thick. It is clearly the result of the buy, use and toss habits of all of us (if we are honest).
Sharing not only can reduce much of the negative impact of consumption, but the real value, the real benefit, the real power is the unexpected impact it has on the quality of the experience when one connects with others. It doesn’t matter if you are sharing a garden (SharedEarth), a washing machine (Brainwash), a place to sleep (CouchSurfing), a bike (BIXI, not Dixie the disposable cup we’ve all used), or a meeting space (Workspring),… the process builds trust, extends community, and more often than not the opportunity to experience a better product or service than you would necessarily be able to afford on your own. Why not share…?