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Collaboration Overload

March 10, 2016 by Cathleen Fracasse

Collaboration Overload

Workplaces are increasingly collaborative, but businesses may not always know how best to leverage the collaborative opportunities to avoid burnout and perform effectively. What lessons can we at Big Tent Nation learn from the research?

As Rob Cross, Reb Rebele and Adam Grant report in the Harvard Business Review (, 'the distribution of collaborative work is often extremely lopsided'. Because those with strong collaborative skills are quickly recognized as such, they are highly sought after for team membership. Their concerning finding is that those employees who are ranked by co-workers as the best collaborators tend to self-report low engagement and career satisfaction.


The authors recommend the use of physical and technological interventions to prevent the burnout that inevitably results from the 'popularity' of these highly valued employees. Additionally, honing the collaborative skills of all employees eases the burden on the stars.



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