Where Collaboration Meets Chess

April 4, 2014 · · Posted by Jordan Frank

In 12 Habits of Highly Collaborative Organizations, @Jacob Morgan draws awesome parallels between collaboration strategy and chess strategy:

Chess is virtually an infinite game yet somehow we have grand-masters who are always at the top. How do they succeed in this infinite game? They identify patterns and look for identifiable scenarios. This same approach is applicable for collaboration.

Jacob outlines 12 strategies for successful collaboration. They're numbered but there's no specific order here -- the key is to assimilate these strategies and match them to any as a means to develop the right mix of approaches that will turn a grass roots effort into a collaborative productivity engine for your organization.


These strategies are vital when you seek improvement opportunities with social process engineering. To tackle this grand problem, I like to look first at one working group's key artifacts - whether they are process documents, issues to track, or any other material that passes over your desk regularly - then I start at "6. Integrate into the flow of work" and develop an approach that is supported by the other 11 principles outlined by Jacob.

Thinking like a chess master enables you to make a first tactical move, but do so within a framework that sets you up for success further down the line when use cases are added and new stakeholders must be convinced.

Page Top