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private sector

Collaboration vs Competition

This afternoon I had the pleasure of speaking at the ASTD Government Manager symposium, on the subject of collaboration. We looked at the formal and informal structures that promote and prevent collaboration across agencies and in the private sector.

I remarked on something I've observed over the last two years in the private sector: while there are laudable coalitions of companies coming together to share best practices for hiring Veterans and Wounded Warriors - some even share candidate lists - the spirit of collaboration seems to end there. There seems to be a trend towards "must be built here." Rather than leveraging the IC and proven solutions that exist for recruitment, on-boarding and retention of Veterans, organizations seem to want to learn the hard lessons of creating their own wheel.

Exploring this as a mini case study, we speculated about motives and looked for lessons that could be applied to inter-agency collaboration. It was a valuable dialogue.

I invite you to consider the question yourself. What barriers exist in your organization to collaborating? What's behind a decision to build it in-house vs. collaborating with those who have succeeded in the same endeavor?

As a behavioral scientist, I am very interested in your responses to these questions!

Emily King is the author of "Field Tested: Recruiting, Managing & Retaining Veterans" (AMACOM 2012)