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5 Books on Business Collaboration

5 Books on Business Collaboration

June 18, 2014 | Elise Hymes

There’s no time to waste if you want to become an effective business collaborator. To help master those skills, here are five books we’ve found full of insights, practical advice, and, well, food for thought — because we’re all “works-in-progress.” Tweet your tips, thoughts, and favorite books on business collaboration to: @samepageio #worktogether We’d love to hear from you.

Nice Companies Finish First

Why Cut-Throat Management Is Out and Collaboration Is Inby Peter Shankman (2013)Nice_Companies_Finish_First__Why_Cutthroat_Management_Is_Over--and_Collaboration_Is_In__Peter_Shankman__9780230341890__Amazon_com__BooksPeter is best known for founding HARO (Help a Reporter Out), that simple yet extraordinary service, which matches journalists with sources. His book is no less revolutionary. Peter’s persuasive and passionate discussion shows how nice guys can finish first because jerks cost huge dividends. And it’s not just a feel-good philosophy. He and his co-author Karen Kelly provide pragmatic rules and guidance about how to create a successful company culture that sets out a new standard for success in our collaborative world.

Give and Take

A Revolutionary Approach to Successby Adam Grant (2013)Give_and_Take__A_Revolutionary_Approach_to_Success__Adam_M__Grant_Ph_D___9780670026555__Amazon_com__BooksAdam Grant is the youngest full professor at the prestigious Wharton School of Business and is their single highest-rated teacher. In his book, Adam delves into his ground-breaking research that shows there are three different ways people operate at work: as a taker, giver or matcher. And it’s the givers who are most successful in their careers. Adam’s work is fascinating, making the book easy to read. It provides an eye-opening look at collaboration, networking, leadership, influence and negotiation. You won’t look at them the same way again. In fact, it was so good, we couldn’t put it down.


How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Resultsby Morten Hansen (2009)Amazon_com__Collaboration__How_Leaders_Avoid_the_Traps__Build_Common_Ground__and_Reap_Big_Results_eBook__Morten_Hansen__BooksThis is the definitive work on collaboration. It’s a great primer because Morten starts with the basics and guides you through to specific action steps for successful collaboration. His insights and commentary are based on his direct observations from 15 years of working with hundreds of firms combined with quantitative research. Morten’s real-life examples are spot-on and you’ll find yourself grinning (or groaning). A Fulbright scholar, UC Berkeley prof, and former BCG consultant, he coined the phrase “disciplined collaboration” to describe how “good" collaboration happens. And rather than always preach about how wonderful collaboration is, Morten also shows when it's an obstacle, and why. In fact, you’ll find yourself resonating with his favorite saying, “Bad collaboration is worse than none at all.” He forces you to think about collaboration in intriguing new ways.

42 Rules for Successful Collaboration

42_Rules_for_Successful_Collaboration__2nd_Edition___A_Practical_Approach_to_Working_with_People__Processes_and_Technology__David_Coleman__9781607731115__Amazon_com__BooksA Practical Approach to Working with People, Processes and Technology (2nd Edition)by David Coleman (2013) Coleman crowd-sourced these 42 rules from numerous business leaders across many different industries. Divided into three sections: people, processes, and technology, you’re able to quickly scan the rules and then dive in to those you’re struggling with, or want to learn more about. Some of them feel like common sense and make you wonder what was the point in including them. Well, what’s common sense to you or me might be a deeply profound thought or idea to someone else. And sometimes seeing that common sense explicitly written out can make you think more deeply about it, or challenge its wisdom — both of which can be valuable exercises.

The Collaborative Organization

A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Toolsby Jacob Morgan (2012)Amazon_com__The_Collaborative_Organization__A_Strategic_Guide_to_Solving_Your_Internal_Business_Challenges_Using_Emerging_Social_and_Collaborative_Tools_eBook__Jacob_Morgan__Kindle_StoreJacob writes passionately about collaboration being the lifeblood of an organization and then shows you how to harness today’s technologies to help you do it intelligently. Rather than try to change human behaviors (an almost impossible task), it’s much easier to find the tools, Jacob argues, that leverage the behaviors already present in your organization. He provides tools, checklists, and guidelines to help you analyze the behaviors and match them up with the optimal tools. A handy book to have around.

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