advice you can use — short and to the point — every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Thursday, February 14th, 2013 technology  research  practice

A Practice Tip

  • Practice

I would like to take this moment to introduce my new joint columnist, Garry J. Wise of Toronto.  As you gentle readers would know, my long-time collaborator and friend Laura A. Calloway recently resigned from this column due to growing work demands.

A bit about my friend and new collaborator:

Garry J. Wise was called to the Ontario Bar in 1986, and practices with Wise Law Office, a Toronto litigation firm that focuses on Employment Law, Family Law, Estates Litigation and Civil Litigation.

He is primary contributor to the award-winning Wise Law Blog, which features daily legal news updates and commentaries. Garry is also developer of WiseLii, Canada’s Free Mobile Legal Research Tool , an iPhone application that enables users to access Canadian case law, statutes and regulations via CanLii.

Garry has contributed to Bar-eX News, Huffington Post, CCH Labour & Law Newsletter, Canadian Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Addendum, Divorce Magazine and CCH Canadian Family Law Guide. He has been a Continuing Legal Education presenter on social media, legal ethics, Web 2.0 and security issues affecting the legal profession, and has been an occasional commentator on TV, radio and other media. Garry has been featured in the National Post, Toronto Star, LawPro Magazine,Lawyer’s Weekly, Canadian Lawyer Magazine, CCH Student E-Monthly and Toronto’s Now Magazine.

In addition to his professional and blogging activities, Garry dabbles as a writer and musician. Garry J. Wise can be reached by email to gwise@wiselaw.net or by phone at 416-972-1800.

Given this background, today’s tip is to collaborate.

What are the benefits and risks of collaborating?

Benefits:

  • Knowledge and information sharing
  • Good practices development 
  • Sharing risks and ability to split tasks
  • A greater integrated approach to problem solving
  • Capacity to replicate success and pass on learning to others
  • Greater co-ordination  and organization of activities
  • Wider reach
  • Better use of resources
  • Draws on a wider range of experiences
  • Mutual support and drive

Risks:

  • Outcomes may take longer
  • Potential for confusion until objectives are clarified and discussed
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Increased complexities
  • Potential for mismatches
  • Change management issues in moving from solo projects to cooperative ones
  • Lack of clarity on roles, responsibilities and delegated tasks
  • Damage to organization and reputations if collaboration fails
  • Potential to drain energy from other demands

All in all, every organization and person has to decide if a project is suited to a collaborative approach.  The rewards resulting from a positive collaboration can be substantial and long-lasting.  A wise decision is one that selects the right approach to people and projects and pairs those that will work well together.

 

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