Original Broadcast Date: Thursday July 15, 2016


Collaboration and cooperation may often be viewed as the same thing, but they are quite distinct. Collaboration is not something that we as leaders can expect will naturally happen in our laboratories. We need to interact in order to create the collaborative environments. We are more likely to see cooperation, which is a good thing, but collaboration may offer so much more. We can definitely encourage and stimulate the process, but we need to understand how perspectives of our team members may impact reaching a strong engagement by all the players. Decisions on which projects and which team members are best suited for a collaborative effort need to be carefully considered to gain the technical benefits as well as to strengthen team interactions.

Collaboration is also a key tool for experiential knowledge transfer and can help sustain tacit knowledge within your laboratory over the passage of time and through changes of personnel. In cases where resources are limited and a timely response is critical, collaboration can improve the overall quality of the outputs of the team. Some examples of how to manage this important process within the laboratory will be shared.

Rich Durand is director/materials and characterization science for Sun Chemical Corporation at their North American R&D facility in Carlstadt, NJ. During his 27 years at Sun Chemical, he has held a variety of positions including senior scientist, director/newspaper R&D, director/knowledge management, director/analytical science. Prior to joining Sun Chemical Corporation, Rich was assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Rhode Island. He received a B.S. in chemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in chemistry from California Institute of Technology. He served as the president of the ALMA (Association of Laboratory Managers) in 2013 and 2014.