Collaboration: What is it really?


Since we started promoting our work at Collaborative Climate, this question has been asked the maximum number of times. What do you mean by Collaboration?

We have generally provided a standard definition of what collaboration means in dictionary: when we get together with others to achieve something.

Here, through this article, I wish to share my thoughts at a deeper level.

So, let’s explore Collaboration and even whether it’s a fad and a temporary need!

As kids we were all fond of Panchtantra Stories, do you recall these pictures?


The above is from the dying father who wants his sons to stick with each other through thick and thin, and uses the analogy of ‘a bundle of sticks’ vs. ‘a single stick’. Click here to read the story and refresh your memory!

How about this picture below?


The flock of birds in search of seeds gets caught up in the net and they collectively decide to fly-away with the net. Click here to watch a video on this story and refresh your memory!

Take a minute to collect the morals of these stories.




It was ‘Unity is Strength’, wasn’t it?

In evolutionary biology, Coexistence Theory and Coevolution Theory hold a very special place, and promote more research into understanding how species evolve.

For humans to evolve, problem solving comes extremely central (Kevin MacDonald and Scott L. Hershberger) not only to survive but also to develop. The problems can be the daily challenges or the wide range of challenges that exist for individuals and even for groups. And the social structure plays a key role in solving these problems. The social structure can make or break the individual evolution and development. Reconsider the Panchtantra Stories above in this light.

So clearly, Collaboration and the need for it is definitely not a fad, a fancy word or a temporary need. In current times of the Corporate World, all we need to do is understand the applicability of these theories and the lessons we should learn.

When it comes to defining what Collaboration is and what it means to the Corporate World, we suggest this 3A Design:


The team-members have a collective goal, an aim to achieve. They actively define the mission. The aim reflects the problem(s), the need for it to be solved and provides the direction for defining the mission.


The team-members attend to each other’s’ needs and preferences. They take care of each other not only in times of distress but also on regular basis. Here, they must seek how others view the problems and the ways they want to solve them. Agility while executing the mission is required.


The team-members accelerate and further develop each other’s strengths. They encourage and energise others. And why not, it’s the age of accelerated success and even desires of over-night success. The best way to do that is focus on strengths and not the weaknesses!

Watch this video to observe this 3A Design at work –

So is the 3A Design a Utopian design for a work-place, i.e., a design that imagines a place which is like a never-land as it’s so perfect? Is this design even really achievable? How do you really apply this design in the cut-throat work-places we work and live in?

Stay tuned, more coming up soon!

Meanwhile, let us know if you would like us to conduct a bite-sized Gamified workshop in your organisation on the 3A Design and its relevance in our times.


Shweta Sharma

Instructional and Game Designer | Learning Facilitator

Founder & Partner-Collaborative Climate


We are very glad about the increasing value and authenticity that’s building up in each Unconference. It’s increasingly becoming a true Collaborative Learning Experience!

Unconference #8 on July 22, 2016 was a very high energy and intense learning session. We had leaders from different organisations and even industries sharing their views and work on the topic: Talent Acquisition – New Drivers for Success.

For our Unconferences, we invite Business and HR Leaders from across organizations and industries to discuss relevant topics pertaining to People Development in an Organization. We also have Pace Setters to set the pace for the discussion and invite responses.


Mr Sukhdeep Aurora, HR Head – India at Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), was the Pace Setter and floored everybody with so much information and ways they have adopted at JLL for Talent Acquisition. He also presented immense knowledge about Talent Acquisition practices across the globe. He weaved this information as per the BASIC Model presented by Ms Anju Sabharwal, Founder & Partner at Collaborative Climate.

Such as: From Why and How of Identifying Your Target Group and importance of Online Platforms like Talent Bin & some Mobile Based Apps to Role of Data Analytics and how they range from Reactive to Strategic and much more!

Mr Deepak Bharara, CHRO at Lanco Group, shared a lot about his experience at GMR and how they worked hard to attract Talent when they were initially coming up. He also mentioned intently that it’s very important to focus on investing and developing people as we go about hiring them.


Mr Sanjeev Kapur, Talent Acquisition Head at JLL, referred to importance of de-selling as important part of Employer Branding. He also shared his experience about Radio Broad-cast campaigns they conducted as part of Employer Branding at one of his previous employers.

Mr Anuj Taneja, VP-HR at HDFC, shared much from the current and previous practices as part of Talent Acquisition. Such as: their process of FTNR (First Time No Response) – an Operational Excellence rule for hiring candidates with much job-hopping back-ground. He also spoke about the Future of Talent Acquisition as tending towards Contractual Employment and Video-based Interviews.


Ms Tannu Gupta , Talent Evangelist at Solomo Media, overwhelmed us with the best practices at Solomo on Talent Acquisition. From floating innovative Creatives on Social Media about their very vibrant Organisational Culture and their highly innovative Offer Letter to the technology they use such as ‘Super’ a Mobile App to hunt for Talent.

Mr Yogesh Thakur, HR Head at SOS Village, talked about the Employer Branding Practices at Max Life, his previous employer. He shared that they focused a lot on Candidate Experience from greeting them to warmly taking them through the entire interview process.


Mr RS Dabas, Chief Transformation Officer at JBM, talked about gauging the motive of the person being hired and the different ways he adopted in Employer Branding throughout his career.

Dr Rupinder Kaur, Founder & Partner at Collaborative Climate, added to this about need to consider Loyalty as an attribute when hiring and that how this can be gauged in the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world! She spoke about online platforms such as Klout for this.


Ms Parul Katyal, AM-HR at JLL, actively shared her insights on how Employer Branding should be; such as “Employer Branding should be so specific that it serves as an elimination process”. She also shared a lot about the Talent Management and Employee Experience practices at JLL to sustain the hard-work done in Talent Acquisition!

Ms Shweta Sharma, Founder & Partner at Collaborative Climate, talked about how the shift is moving towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics and the possible upcoming trends such as – automated systems of gauging intentions and aspirations. She also talked about need for displaying the passion you carry as you go about planning and executing the Talent Acquisition process.

Quick Feedback Quotes:

Mr Aurora: Thanks so much team CC for bringing us here, I had a great time. Me and my team learnt much here.

Mr Bharara, Got to know so many things, thanks team CC. The session was so informative, am so exhausted with this information.

Mr Dabas, The session was very informative and useful.

Mr Taneja: It really was a fantastic experience here.


The Unconferences that we host are a medium to facilitate collaborative and informal peer learning; and we don’t charge our guests for that! These are small group (up to 10 participants at a time) and informal get-togethers. We genuinely want real and meaty discussions to happen so everybody gets to take back their share of authentic learning.

Look forward to more in this space and if you would like to be invited for an Unconference, please write to us at

Will Talent War be over?

Talent WarI walked into the board room to present our Annual People Strategy. Within minutes, the discussions turned towards open positions, availability of right talent, quality of hire, lead time to hire, cost of hire, effectiveness of hiring channels etc. Every HR Manager/ HR Head/Talent Acquisition Head can relate with this experience of people strategy discussions turning towards hiring most of the times. Dearth of extraordinary talent is painful to all businesses irrespective of industry, size and geography.

Recruitment and Talent Acquisition (TA) terms are used interchangeably; however two are quite different. Recruitment is short-term, quick fix, focussed on filling open positions whereas TA is long-term planning and thought-through strategy to find specialists, leaders, or future executives for the company.

Talent Acquisition process is becoming complex day by day. Today a TA professional is expected to be skilled not only in sourcing right profiles, candidate assessment, Future hiring, compliance and leveraging multiple & cost effective channels of hiring, but also in employment branding practices. Talent acquisition as a function has become closely aligned with marketing to create and communicate Employee Value Proposition rather than just filling numbers!!

Some of the trends visible in TA for next 3 years can be described by an acronym BASIC:




Interested (Candidates) and

Candidate (Experience).

With the evolution of social media and Employer-brand-focused sites like Glassdoor, the focus on building Employer Brand, showcasing the work culture & career growth will continue in the near future. For example Microsoft’s employer branding strategy starts with their Career site. Apart from posting job openings, they feature a JobsBlog and a section of the site is dedicated to ‘life at Microsoft,’ with details of the company’s values and career development opportunities. The blog features articles about what it is like to work at the company as well as profiling real employees.

Usage of Data Analytics right from tracking an application to developing true insights about future employees to analysing competitor talent pools (in order to find candidates with the right skills and potential) to examining data on whether full-time or part-time employees bring the highest return on investment is gaining huge importance.. For example, Xerox uses big data to hire new employees for its call centre using predictive analysis for attrition.

Another emerging trend is usage of Smartphone and adding new mobile tools, techniques and strategies including SMS, mobile application and tracking, social media to create a signature engagement experience with candidates. For Example GM and PepsiCo have Careers apps available for download on smartphones.

Converting passive candidates into Interested, Active Candidates will provide competitive edge to TA professionals. An employee referral program can be a great tool for recruiting passive candidates.

Creating an overall delight for Candidate will be the key differentiator. From the stage of pre-screening to explaining the job well to usage of gamification to create an experience of what life is like in an organization to getting a warm welcome on joining will go long way in retaining the talent.

So HR/TA professionals, Are you game for this Challenge??!!!!