collab card cover image

Collaboration: The dance of Contribution

These cards capture the moments that improve collaboration. Change your posture, recognize anotherr person, lower your relative social position, add safety, make it fun.


Written in 3 languages - English, Spanish and French - by distinguished researcher and author Dr. Alistair Cockburn, you can use these cards in your team, in your family or in your church group to improve interactions and raise trust.


The original investigation done in 2007 can be read online here. There, you can see all the elements of the investigation on "What improves collaboration, moment by moment?"


That investigation was boiled down to these handy cards, and translated into Spanish and French.


Get the cards in English, Spanish or French, in the US and in Europe. Outside of US and Europe, mailing can be sometimes problematic, so write to us directly to see how we can get you cards to your country.


One note: since printing the cards in French, we added one more card, "Find your center", creating a new suit, "Lift Yourself". The English and Spanish decks have 18 cards in 5 suits, the French deck has 17 cards in 4 suits. Just recall to "Trouvez votre centre", and you'll already be stronger.

The collaboration suits in 3 languages

Sample cards:

Testimonial from an early user of the cards


Alistair, I want to thank you.


The team that I took over has been reeling from a poisoned dynamic and I’ve been using those little items you wrote down as guideposts for what I should be doing in creating a positive dynamic to replace the old one.


The manager before me was [description deleted :) ]. I needed to take up the day-to-day duties of managing the group in detail. I spent time proactively contacting other people in the company and communicated that I wanted to work with them to solve problems and break down barriers to communication.


Even though I’m not responsible for the past behavior, I recognize that I have to live with the psychological association that’s been built in the past anyway, so I consciously make a point of doing “managing by walking around” and “over communicating” to repair and rebuild those relationships between QA and the rest of the company.


Inside the team, I practice “increasing safety” and outside the team I practice “lift others”. The two together contribute to “add energy” and “get results”.


I think I’m at an age where I can appreciate these aspects of the job more than I could have when I was younger.


All of this contributed to one of the two owners of the company personally thanking me for the work I’ve been doing at the company since I joined and he told me that he’s heard very good things about the work I’ve done so far from everyone. Its so nice to be appreciated!


Even though its been a really tough week, its been very satisfying to repair the dysfunctionality. Even though its not fully healed yet, I’ve ended the constant scab picking that came before and put a bandage on it. Over time, it will heal over and hopefully there will be no scar. Then I can get back to programming :-).


Thanks again.