The book makes no mention of how those meetings went for the participants or what was learned about collaborating from the process. The release of the book relied on a freemium model of offering the first chapter as a free pdf download while charging $125 for the printed book. There was no disclosure of how the decisions were made to use a freemium approach or to target the market segments that perceive high prices as adding to the book's value.
There were no tie-ins from the exploration in the book of exit and voice approaches to collaboration, and the approaches used by the various authors in collaboration on this volume. In short, there was none of the process transparency that was preached as essential to the formation of trust that provides the basis for collaboration. The book does not practice what it preaches.
We don't know why the book sends contradictory messages to its readers like "do as we say, don't do as we do". Here are some typical explanations that might apply to these authors and their conspicuous absence of process transparency:
- Their collaboration on the book resembled Detroit automakers setting up "collaborations" with parts suppliers who felt pressured, threatened and squeezed by the buyer side of the exchanges.
- The personalities / social characters may fit a pattern of "deference to authority" and "reliance on autonomy" that cannot interact with, openly contradict or gradually incorporate other viewpoints -- without enduring a crisis in confidence.
- Their process of collaborating on the book may have revealed them to be inept - which could only undermine their positioning themselves as authoritative experts.
- Their approach to transparency may have been socialized by schooling and employment in hierarchies which hide behind firewalls, respect fortress mentalities and reward the formation of silos.
- Their sharing of their own collaborative process could turn off their target market of high level executives in old economy corporations who were eager to sign huge consulting contracts with them.
- Their awareness of who practices process transparency may be limited to bloggers, new journalism models and therapy groups, but no colleagues, experts or executives.
- They were unconsciously teaching what they personally need to learn by first giving others they advice they need to listen to themselves, and slowly letting their own messages sink in.
Whatever explanation(s) actually fit the authors' collaboration, the value proposition of the book has been limited by their lack of process transparency. It's loaded with good ideas, insights and case examples. It's ideal for becoming more of an expert, like the authors themselves. It falls short of nurturing our own collaborative praxis.