Category Archives: Research

Smart Collaboration

As we kick off 2017, I am delighted to see Heidi Gardner’s book Smart Collaboration has entered the marketplace (and my iPad). The book claims to show “firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across functional boundaries.”

While Gardner’s book appears to have a bent toward professional service firms (e.g. legal), I’m looking forward to reading this deeply researched effort to discuss the importance of collaboration. Optimistically, I anticipate finding examples of collaboration that may serve as models for higher education, as well as the public sector. And, undoubtedly, I am thinking this book will shed light on existing gaps in the research and, consequently, perpetuate scholars-practitioners to wrestle further with the study of collaborative enterprise across all sectors.

Please look forward to a more thorough review of Smart Collaboration to come. Until then, happy collaborating to all in 2017!

Cin-Day Cyber Receives Federal Award

I’ve been meaning to share the good news here regarding the Cin-Day Cyber Corridor initiative I’ve written about earlier.  The greater Cincinnati-Dayton region is one of five recipients of a regional alliance grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Tecyberlogochnology (NIST). The five grants, as part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), total nearly $1 million are to take a community approach to addressing the nation’s shortage of skilled cybersecurity employees.

Working collaboratively with the Dayton Development Coalition, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education submitted a NIST proposal on behalf of a cyber alliance of lead partners in higher education, economic development, industry, government, and K-12 The alliance has been awarded $198,759 in project funding to advance partnerships that increase the pipeline of students pursuing cybersecurity careers, help more Americans attain the skills they need for well-paying jobs in cybersecurity, and support local economic development to stimulate job growth.

Congrats to all the partners in the alliance! This has been a hugely collaborative effort, and is just the beginning of a longterm focus on cyber education and workforce readiness for our region.

Read the full press release.

Science and Collaboration Have No Borders

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I recently sat down with Jason Barkeloo, Founder and Chair of Open Therapeutics, at one of my favorite meeting spots, YSB. Barkeloo’s vision has resulted in an open collaboration company. They bring scientists together to share data and focus on developing technologies that will address global health issues. Specializing in synthetic biology, the company believes in “eliminating research silos, encouraging scientific peer-to-peer communication and stimulating collaboration in scientific research.”

Barkeloo wants to partner with SOCHE to aggressively bring student researchers into the mix. Not only will students gain access to advanced biomedical research, the goal of their involvement is multi-fold: 1) increase student research contributions to the open source network; 2) create global connections between new and seasoned scientists; 3) advance the mindset and culture of collaboration among the scientific community and its next generation leadership; 4) perpetuate research done for the global good and solving world health issues; and 5) the list holds the potential to go on and on.

Bravo, Jason and Open Therapeutics!

Collaboration Mindset Inventory

No matter where I go, collaboration is on my mind. Recently, I attended the ILA Board Retreat in Atlanta (site for the 2016 ILA Global Conference), and had the privilege of participating in the Global Mindset Inventory thanks to Dr. Mansour Javidan (a colleague on the ILA board). Developed by the Global Mindset Institute, this assessment tool helps “determine a global leader’s ability to better influence individuals, groups and organizations unlike themselves.”

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I left Atlanta wondering how cool it would be to develop the Collaboration Mindset Inventory,  which would help “determine a leader’s ability to better influence individuals and groups and organizations through collaboration.”

Like the GMI, the CMI would measure collaborative thinking in the areas of intellectual, psychological, and social capital. The assessment would result in a map of a leader’s current thinking, as well as suggestions for personal and professional development.

What next? I’m going to continue to bug Mansour about the GMI and what we can learn from it that would transfer to the CMI. As well, we will find out what else is already out there in terms of collaboration assessment (SOCHE is neighbors with the Chally Group 🙂

Stay tuned!

Collaboration for Impact

G’day, I came across this Australian organization, Collaboration for Impact, which “helps communities work better together to tackle their toughest problems.” Their website is a great resource for practitioners and scholars interested in collaboration, collective impactblogs, events, and other relevant and current information on collaborative thinking

And, if you happen to be in Melbourne this May, check out their annual conference.

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Collaboration Key to Cancer Cure

Taking a leadership role to find a cure to cancer, Vice President Biden is challenging scientists to collaborate. Biden acknowledged that research silos have stunted progress, and that collaboration among researchers and collaborative research specifically will be essential and the key to accelerating cures to cancer. The organization, Stand Up to Cancer, is leading an effort to promote innovation and collaboration, and is an excellent example of collaborative infrastructure being established to find innovative solutions to address a global health challenge.

Deep Academic and Administrative Collaborations

Often, I am asked if there are other organizations like SOCHE. The answer is, “Yes, in fact, there are many different types of consortia in higher education with unique missions and goals.” Going a step further, there is the Association for Collaborative Leadership, which serves as a consortium of consortia. ACL is “an educational, research and professional organization dedicated to developing leadership capabilities and advancing higher education collaboration.”

I have attended numerous ACL conferences over the years and discovered great value in the networking with other executives, rich content of the presenters, and the valuable research shared. In addition to the annual professional engagements, ACL provides research, resources, and tools to help advance and evaluate effective collaborations. I recommend you see for yourself their research on Deep Academic and Administrative Collaborations, which is a working document and updated regularly.

The future of higher education will be shaped by deep and sustained inter- and intra-institutional partnerships. This ACL resource will serve campuses as a good guide for best and common practices.

Center of Excellence in Collaboration

Recently, I’ve been obsessing over the idea of SOCHE launching the Center of Excellence in Collaboration, as part of its 50th anniversary. SOCHE already facilitates collaboration every day, week, month, year, and has since 1967. SOCHE already serves as the collaborative infrastructure for higher education in our region. Collaboration is SOCHE’s heart and soul, and why it has received accolades and awards for leading inter-institutional collaboration.

This is all fine and dandy. But it is not enough….

Now is the time to challenge SOCHE and its future by studying the art and science of collaboration to the nth degree. A desired outcome of a rigorous undertaking will be for SOCHE to launch the world-class CoE in Collaboration–providing leadership, best practices, research, support, training, expertise, evaluation, technology, and conditions and culture for inter- and intra-institutional collaboration.

People and organizations accept commonly the importance of collaboration in today’s environment. There are books, articles, blog spots that promote collaboration and collaborative innovation. We’ve understood for centuries the combined effect of creative forces is far more impactful than that of individual attempts. Knowing this, we must take the next step, building upon collaboration’s recognized status as a strategy for success and elevate collaboration to a field of academic study and practice.

SOCHE will (collaboratively) do this!

 

Small College is Earth’s Social Entrepreneur

A colleague and I have been fleshing out a concept paper for a small college to take the lead in being a social entrepreneur college. This is the start…

Small College will be Earth’s Social Entrepreneur. Faculty, staff, and students will internalize and then project the imperative to produce transformational benefits in our community, nation, and humanity, writ large. In pursuit of this vision, Small College will become a flagship among the world’s most respected academic intuitions, admitting only the best-qualified applicants and recruiting elite faculty who passionately share the college’s vision.

Small College will focus on revolutionary solutions to the most pressing topics on the horizon. Initially, we will capitalize on the present assets at Small College: alternative energy and organic agri- and aqua-culture. In the coming years, we will expand our focus to develop novel entrepreneurial solutions in global diplomacy and caring for an aging worldwide population, as we unpack Small College’s focus also on: water, food, energy, health, governance, and education. Faculty, students, and administration will work together to reorient Small College to provide a decidedly non-traditional and foundational liberal arts education to catalyze collaborative, entrepreneurial, and design thinking based solutions for novel, insightful, and innovative solutions that will improve Earth’s future locally, nationally, and internationally.

The curriculum will focus on the knowledge of what to know, how to develop, and then how to implement evidence-based policy, public affairs, applied research, and advanced technologies. The curriculum will be concretized by the fostering of business start-ups that bring the learning experience into personal, professional, and social relationships. Small College will operate as an entrepreneurial liberal arts research and commercialization college. By identifying and acting as such, Small College will attract faculty, students, and staff that passionately transition their education into a vocation that thrives in the pursuit positive change. Small College will be an unequaled incubator that unlocks the imagination of the world’s best and brightest students in a marriage – not a simple colocation – of scientific, social, artistic, and humanitarian. The Small College of the future will be a leader in policy, industry, and innovation that is passionately supported by the faculty, staff, students and surrounding academic and industry communities.

Implementation of the Small College of the future requires a deep and unsurpassed cooperation among industry, government, and academia. This will be implemented via the following steps. First, like a traditional college, Small College will charge tuition, room, and board. However, in order to fulfill the promise of the transition of knowledge into solutions, Small College will assess a one-time fee of $20,000 for entering students. This fee will seed and sustain a Innovation Fund of venture capital from which graduates can draw to implement solutions to Earth’s most pressing problems. This fee will be collected from the 500 students (125 per year) such that the first accredited graduating class will have a fund of $10 million from which they can draw to seed businesses that will implement and sustain innovation. The value of the Innovation Fund can be developed further but contributions from the faculty and staff. The Innovation Fund benefits the Small College community in multiple ways. First, the graduates gain access to the funds to support the development of their startups. Second, students, faculty, and staff who contributed to the Innovation Fund own shares that gain value with the entrepreneurial successes of Small College. Finally, Small College owns a share of the fund that will provide a revenue stream for the continuing investments in personnel, infrastructure, and, most importantly, facilities necessary to maintain and expand the vision and mission at Small College.

To be continued….

Students Central to Innovation

Henry Etzkowitz initiated the concept of the Triple Helix partnership in the 1990s, understanding the university’s forte in knowledge production could result in entrepreneurial output. The concept is that “innovation and economic development lies in a more prominent role for the university in partnering with industry and government to generate new institutional and social formats for the production, transfer and application of knowledge.” In this scenario: 1) university acts like an entrepreneur, focusing on commercialization of their research; 2) industry acts like a university, partnering on research development, loosening their protective, private sector boundaries; and 3) government becomes the venture capitalist, providing an infusion of financial resources into the equation. It is an ideal ecosystem in which the university drives innovation, and has the established relationships and financial backing to bring their research to life.

Do you know why Etzkowitz pronounced the university is more innovative than any type of organization that produces knowledge? Answer: pipeline of students. Unlike any other business, fresh talent is constantly flowing into the university system, contributing new ideas, diverse perspectives, and, therefore, unlimited creativity. Southwest Ohio is fortunate with over 20 colleges and universities and more than 120,000 students. Also, we have the perfect makings for the Triple Helix partnership: 1) strong higher education cluster; 2) strong government presence with WPAFB; and 3) major business interested in technological innovation. Most importantly, we have the curricular ability to marrying the sciences, arts, and humanities with the passion of our college and university students–which is truly the key to innovation.