Yes, it’s the opening line from Vanilla Ice’s 1989 megahit song “Ice Ice Baby.” I suspect that the suburban rapper honestly just needed a 4-syllable word to complete the line and found “collaborate” in a thesaurus. But could it be that he was truly ahead of his time on this one?
With collaboration technology advancing rapidly, user adoption going through the roof, and billions of bits of information flying in front of our collective eyes every DAY… it’s actually good advice.
1) Stop. With all that momentum and velocity, it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of the mighty digital river and get swept away. Then you wake up on the shore downstream from an important decision you wish you would have thought about more carefully 10 miles ago. Sometimes you just have to stop yourself, go to a quiet place and think. Otherwise you might snap from too many snap decisions.
2) Collaborate. Now that you have the world at your fingertips, why not tap into that human network to help you solve problems and make decisions. With collaboration technology, social media, whatever you want to call it… you can literally connect with one expert, or the collective knowledge of an entire community, anywhere in the world.
3) Listen. Now you’ve heard other’s opinions, but did you really listen? Were you prepared to really understand what they were saying and possibly change your mind after thinking about it? When you’re listening, you’re learning… and making better decisions.
Maybe next time you watch “Ice Ice Baby” on youtube, you won’t focus on the ridiculous hairstyle, pseudo-hip 80’s fashion or the stolen and uncredited use of the hook from Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure.” Maybe… just maybe… you’ll recognize the true genius of the lyrical poet and scholar, Robert “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle. Word to your mother.