7 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 and aspects of collaboration leading to radical collaboration, and the concluding section suggests a path forward and some principles to guide that path towards radical collaboration. Using Working Definitions to Build Understanding Developing working definitions to build and ensure a shared understanding of core concepts is an effective tool for community building and for engaging in radical collaboration. The term “working definition” itself is a core concept for radical collaboration. When a new collaboration starts, members bring their individual and often idiosyncratic definitions with them, often unaware that others may understand these terms very differently. It is easy to avoid this frequent stumbling block to working together across domains—begin each new initiative with a review of terms and by filling in gaps in required terms, sharing them with new members as the group grows as part of an essential orientation process. In practice, formal definitions, like those found in glossaries, emerge in a community once practice has been agreed upon and formalized and members have an increasingly mutual understanding of concepts and principles. At early stages of community development, before formal definitions emerge, it is common to find that the same terms mean different things in different domains and to members within the same domain. Using terms differently as domains come together to collaborate leads to ambiguity and confusion that presents a challenge for community building. Developing and sharing working definitions is a way to deepen and broaden understanding as we come together to work on shared objectives. We can extend and clarify working definitions as needed, so they provide a great tool for bringing different experiences and perspectives together, for forging a shared understanding. This section shares some examples of working definitions we are using in discussing radical collaboration.
Previous Page Next Page