Monday Buzz: Learning Collaboration Lessons From Academia

Can academics teach us a thing or two about working together? Plus: how one podcast handles a seemingly impossible amount of feedback.

Sharing employees and market insights may seem like an outlandish notion to businesses that compete with each other, and many in the association community may be similarly skeptical of collaborating with other organizations that serve the same members. But, as Len Williams writes for CMSWire, such relationships have long existed among universities, to the benefit of many.

Could similar professional exchanges and collaborations have a larger role in the association space?

Joyce Czajkowski, Ph.D., of Upper Iowa University, who has written a paper on the topic, outlines several specific factors, from trust and compatibility to open communication and shared governance, that bring about productive relationships.

“The benefits to universities that share the knowledge of their own researchers is clear—by sending their people to work with colleagues abroad they hope that when they come back they will bring new insights,” Williams writes. “And unlike money-making business, science is (in theory, anyway) about advancing the common body of human knowledge for all.”

For the association community, that probably sounds pretty familiar.

PokemoN: Nonprofit Connection of the Day


One of the most influential forces in the development of Wikipedia has proved to be…Pokémon? It’s true! As explained by the Wikimedia Foundation, the long-running game franchise became the focal point of debate among editors about  how many articles Wikipedia should include on any given topic. The Pokemon collection had grown into the hundreds, and that vast repository has been used to justify further exhaustive encyclopedic efforts. “Wikipedia is not paper; if we can have articles for every minor character in Star Wars, Star Trek, and each of those pesky Pokémon, we can have an article about Professor Hopper,” one editor said, objecting to deletion of an article on the professor.

Other Good Reads

For a fresh lesson in audience outreach, check out this story from Nieman Lab deputy editor Laura Hazard Owen about WNYC’s Note to Self podcast and how it processed feedback from 15,000 listeners.

When making decisions based on qualitative data, it’s best to remember these six questions, says Smooth the Path‘s Amanda Kaiser.

Are YouTube stars the next influencers your association needs to reach? Reporter Eilene Zimmerman explores the new frontier of YouTube endorsements in this New York Times story.

(Jacob Ammentorp Lund/ThinkStock)

Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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