Helping others and investing in networks really does pay off
My research topic for my doctorate in business leadership was about collaboration through online social networks and how it leads to increased innovation and improved problem solving. Before gathering my primary research data, I had to absorb all I could from the canon of scholarly literature about leadership, collaboration, social networks and a dozen or so other broad topics. This was a wonderful refresher on many great ideas about leadership, the strength of weak ties, information sharing and the power of helping others.
My primary research involved an extensive survey of individuals who used online social networks, as well as in-depth interviews with senior managers who had attempted to embrace the use of online social networks in their organizations. My research was able to show that people and organizations that used social networks to collaborate and share information were able to solve problems more effectively and were more innovative as a result.
Many of the lessons from my thesis research are universal in nature, and now that I am a filmmaker, I see how the truths of my research really play out in film directing and the business of film production. Let me share some of my insights:
I got to have a first-hand experience of many of these truths over the course of making many films in recent years. One that stands out for me is the feature film “Breathe Easy” which was a global collaboration of filmmakers from around the world who connected up via social media, and produced individual segments of the film in their home countries that all rolled up into an amazing final product, setting some new records for collaboration in film. For me personally, that was such a huge payoff for all the years I put into my doctorate, because I got to see my findings come to life in the filmmaking world that I love!
For more about the ideas in my thesis, you can read the whole thing via the link here, or get a PDF copy of the book I wrote afterwards, “Collaborative Intelligence,” here. Happy collaborating to you!
Robert David Duncan, award-winning director, actor, writer and producer with a passionate interest in art, storytelling and the whole amazing journey called life. Founder of Fat Punk Productions and Festival Director of the Miniature Film Festival.