Talk on competition and collaboration

I was recently embroiled in a brief debate/discussion/exchange (don’t like the word ‘argument’) on ‘competition and collaboration’ with a couple of lawyers (who are also arbitrators). Although brief, we all agreed that we want to collaborate rather than compete. (The context of the discussion was on availability of work/cases.)  Also it’s much nicer to say we want to collaborate rather than compete :-) I then pointed out that without competition, collaboration will not happen or materialise. (I gave the example of sport competition). Do you find lawyers collaborating and not competing with other lawyers? How else will they win if they don’t compete?

Go and ask a lawyer to collaborate and see what kind of respond you get. I have done this couple of times and the responses I have received so far are fearful (non-collaborative) responses. Rather than seek collaboration, I am asked questions which are geared towards providing them with information so that they can compete with me or put me in a less favorable position. I have also been challenged in other non-collaborative ways.

Saying so, I have also met some wonderful people who understand the meaning of collaboration and have acted collaboratively, not just saying they want to collaborate. The word collaboration has become a buzzy word in the world of ediscovery. Buzzy word gets attention! Just yesterday (or was it Friday?) I was invited to collaborate on producing a Glossary on ediscovery. I jumped at the idea as it was something I wanted to do when I first started this blog. More to come on this wonderful collaboration….

For me, sharing information takes more courage than talk of collaboration. On the buzzy use or talk of collaboration, read the article ‘Time to Work Together on Electronic Discovery’ posted by Clearwellsystem. I like the video blog: Information Security and eDiscovery.  Why? Mr. Ron Hedges covered confidentiality and privilege which are both non buzzy words but are the hide and seek in ediscovery actions. What is collaboration in ediscovery? Lawyers collaborating with IT people?  Is that it?

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