DNA has selected for human collaboration when the joint endeavor directly supports human survival. More typically, collaboration is a cooperative process involving two or more people working together in the design or production of a plan, program, product, preferred treatment outcome, service, entertainment, or art form, or in accomplishment of a task, objective, mission, or goal.
Collaboration is not always synergistic—it can be awkward for members with varying work styles, personalities, and vision. Geniuses Kant, Thoreau, Lao-Tzu, Gibran, Einstein, and countless others preferred solitude in their creative endeavors (see also Solitude).
Participants in a collaborative process bring multiple disciplines, perspectives, and expertise to the task. Labor and time is divided, and clearly defined roles and responsibilities are assigned. There is depth in staffing—for backup and continuity if a member is unable to function. Intra-member feedback aids focus and performance. Members have active ownership of the project. Collaboration can stimulate expansion of ideas which may be irrelevant to the task, but helpful in attaining strategic goals. In historically strained relationships, collaboration can be a worthy end in itself.
Respect, encourage, validate, trust, and support your team members. If the energy and talents of all members are effectively utilized, the desired outcome will be attained and all will benefit.