When all the verbiage is removed, there seems to be four great challenges to effective collaboration, irrespective in my experience of the specific environment in which the collaboration takes place.

  1. The need to be cross functional, which cuts across all the traditional management and control structures, and can be a threatening prospect to many individuals and existing structures, i.e., the status quo is under threat, and reacts predictably.
  2. The openness and transparency required for collaboration to contribute demands a culture of personal and group responsibility directed by data, not by personality.
  3. A recognition that Intellectual Property is leveraged by spreading and usage, anathema to the old model of filing a patent, and defending it in the courts. IP has been replaced  in collaborative systems by the  Intellectual Capital of the group, which is not static, but evolves with use.
  4. Any individual involved in a collaborative system needs to  engage with, and be committed to the above three factors, failure to do so by any individual can wreck havoc on the effectiveness of the collaboration.
  5. Get the above right, and your enterprise will flourish, but whilst it may sound easy, in reality figuring out how to make collaborative initiatives work in this increasingly connected world is the challenge of the 21st century.