How to build a collaborative culture in a competitive environment.

A powerful game theory style interactive session, where the participants become their own social experiment and discover first hand what happens when trust is removed from the equation.

(The Collaboration Deception is part of the full Collaboration Concept program suite)

Program concept

Why do bees discriminate against some of their own? How has tourism destroyed age old farming practices overnight? And what do the stone age hunters have in common with stockbrokers?

The motivation behind apparent collaboration can be deceptive. Many animals, including humans, will only cooperate if it's in their best interests to do so. In many areas of nature,  collective harmony is often only achieved by suppressing the innate impulse towards individual selfish mutiny. As a species, we seem to be designed to protect ourselves as individuals – often at the expense of the collective good.  The natural tendency is for self preservation, and if left unchecked this focus on self protection can lead to a race to the bottom.  But we actually need to be able to collaborate with each other in order to survive.

So how can true collaboration be established in the light of this apparent shortcoming? This program cleverly uses 'game theory' with the participants at the centre of a live social experiment. Discovering first hand what effect the unrestrained self-interest of an individual has on an entire culture, the participants will learn why trust is such a critical element in a range of important areas from relationships to trading. Often in a team someone will defect, compete or try to free ride in their quest for self-survival, and this program explores ways of dealing with such ultimately destructive tendencies.

The program starts with a fast paced audience participation social experiment, in which the program participants are encouraged to identify the issues and approach them from a different perspective. Through the course of the event, participants try their skill at solving an apparently impossible challenges based on the infamous ‘prisoner’s dilemma’. Participants soon learn that the productivity of a work group  depends on how the group members see their own goals in relation to the goals of the organisation.

Case studies covered in the session include: A modern day ‘Tragedy of Commons’, an exploration of how tourism destroyed the 3000 year old collaborative approach to rice farming in Bali; the deeper challenges of Globalisation; the unexpected connection between stockbrokers and stone age hunters; a discussion on why Sony lost the portable music race to Apple through non-collaboration; what  bats, chimps and bees can show us about natural instincts away from collaboration and towards self preservation: and why TV team reality shows are not really about collaboration.

Welcome to the collaboration deception, where humans struggle with the ambiguity of collaboration in a culture that breeds self survival and competition.

Program Outcomes

Understanding the need for real collaboration
Knowing how to deal with defectors and other internally destructive forces
Learning 7 key practical tools that can turn a culture around and encourage individuals to be more collaborative

This is another original and unique program exclusively designed and presented by Tirian.