One of the meanings of ‘eye’ comes from the old English verb ‘to eye’. This refers to an ambition or a pursuit. Collaboration can never be a goal in and of itself. People and organisations work together because they want to achieve a concrete goal, to achieve something together. A goal they cannot achieve or do not want to achieve alone. The trick is to look for that shared ambition in every collaboration and to make it explicit together. This increases the chances that the goal will actually be achieved.
One of the meanings of ‘common’ is ‘community’. For us, Common Eye thus stands for a common endeavour, a common ambition. An ambition that is supported by all partners in the collaboration. This applies to all types of collaboration, from small to large. It applies to collaborations between professionals, within a team, between departments within an organisation, between different organisations and even during a merger. The chances of success are considerably higher if partners are able to commit themselves to a common goal.
The most common meaning of ‘eye’ is, of course, an eye. A common eye could also be translated as a view of the community, a shared looking glass.
By definition, working with others means dealing with different forms of knowledge, expertise, experiences, cultures, preferences, values and norms. These differences often lead to confusion in speech and a lack of clarity. A common way of approaching collaboration can help to reduce speech confusion. We develop approaches, methods and tools with which partners can look at their collaboration in a shared manner. It is therefore no coincidence that one of our earlier publications on collaboration was entitled A new looking glass for a clear view of collaboration (in Holland Management Review, by Robin Bremekamp, Edwin Kaats and Wilfrid Opheij, 2009).
At Common Eye, we’re continuously working among ourselves, with clients and with partners to further develop the field of collaboration and to improve collaborations in practice. For our clients, Common Eye means working together with experts on the subject of collaboration, regardless of whether this concerns advice, process supervision, evaluations, training, lectures, workshops or coaching.
Collaboration is also about action. A common goal is the start, but that’s not enough. It’s also about partners putting a collaboration into practice and getting down to work. Do you also want to work collaboratively? Or are you involved in a collaboration and feel that there’s room for improvement? Get in touch!