Smart Collaboration – Officially Released Worldwide

At long last, Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos was officially released worldwide by Harvard Business Press on January 3rd.  By offering your own insights, anecdotes and critiques, many of you on this Board of Contributors played a special role in the book’s development.  I appreciate your efforts, as I write in the book’s Preface:

“Writing a book about collaboration was, as it turned out, a collaborative endeavor.  As I discussed and tested my ideas over the years, I was astonished by the groundswell of interest those ideas prompted, and by the number of people who asked, “How can I help you?”   Several months into writing the manuscript, I hit on a new idea to tap into this enthusiasm. I created what I called a Board of Contributors, and invited those people who had expressed a passion for the subject of collaboration to periodically review early-stage ideas for this book. I posted rough drafts a few paragraphs at a time, and board members posted their critiques, challenged my ideas (and sometimes each other’s), and provided nitty-gritty examples from their own experiences.  Although I didn’t plan it that way, this book has turned out to be a testament to the power of surfacing and integrating the work of specialized experts.  Their voices show up throughout the book, and I’m grateful for them”

The response so far has been extremely positive, so our collective hard work is making its intended impact.  You’ll see that many top leaders and industry thinkers have endorsed the book, including comments such as these:

  • “Gardner presents a powerful empirical case for smart collaboration in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. This book is a must read for law firm leaders and partners committed to improving client relationships globally.” Wim Dejonghe, Senior Partner, Allen & Overy
  • “Drawing on deep analysis and case studies across organizations, Gardner has turned a tricky topic – how and why to collaborate – into a set of clear prescriptions.” Scott McDonald, President & CEO, Oliver Wyman Group
  • “A remarkable blend of theory and practice, Gardner’s work on collaboration is at once rigorous and actionable. Backed by extensive empirical research, her book offers crucial guidance for professionals who want to deepen their relationships with clients, improve the service they provide, and increase their profitability – and that should be all professionals.” Professor Richard Susskind, co-author, The Future of Professions

Let me reiterate what I wrote as I concluded the Preface, “The search continues for even more powerful ways to collaborate on tough problems in knowledge-based firms. I invite you to read my current thoughts on the subject, and contribute to the next generation of those ideas.”   Please do stay involved!

8 thoughts on “Smart Collaboration – Officially Released Worldwide

  1. Congratulations Heidi. That is quite an achievement. Take a bow.

    Now onto the next instalment in this piece of thinking.



  2. Thanks, Mark. Next piece of thinking is a continued focus on the “How To” components. I’m working with a number of partners to try measuring the impact of different kinds of interventions that are focused on fostering collaboration. It’s a long-term project. As we know, it can take a while to achieve behavioral change and see it flow through to the financials. But it’s worth trying to track. Please stay tuned…


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