So for you who work, and yes there are many of us out there, you have undoubtedly heard the buzz word “Collaboration” thrown around too many times in companies. Every time leadership looks at new strategies, the idea that “We need to Collaborate Better” seems to crop up in the strategy. The idea that innovation is ultimately driven by collaboration may be true, but do companies really drive the cultural change necessary for accomplishing real collaboration across the lines of business? Recall, groups within individual departments most likely collaborate already. I know myself I am always presenting about collaboration to users, and they probably are tired of seeing theory and want execution of some Enterprise Collaboration Platform. What is the larger value then of Enterprise Collaboration? Andrew McAfee says in his book “Enterprise 2.0”, the “Weak-Ties” linking to the “Strong-Ties” are what drives increased innovation opportunities in companies. This is true I think, but again, are companies really ready to embrace collaboration at this level?
In looking at the topic of Collaboration within companies, there are fears that executives have that tend to effect the execution of such platforms. The threat of not knowing the historical outcomes of what these Enterprise Collaboration platforms can exude can be scary to all but the most confident and risk-taking IT leaders. I don’t blame them at all. It is not every IT leader who wants to risk their high salary position on a “Maybe”… I think though, the IT leader who has the right person(s) involved to craft the strategy, to uncover the use-cases in the company, showcase the “Day-in-the-Life” examples of how Enterprise Collaboration Platforms can ease the various pain-points identified within pocket of the company. To show those quick wins, to show positive business value are the ones who will be poised to drive the change management necessary for true holistic collaboration capabilities.
So how do we get those senior leadership to be optimistic about change, to see what I call the “What If”…..?
To me the “What If” is the most important question you can ask a business leader. The “What If” is what can drive the conversation, open new discussions, change prevailing thought. The “What If” is the key to unlocking change, unleashing new opportunities for organizations. To be clear, the “What If” has risks too, as all change has risks. In business as in life, change in inevitable, whether it comes to us, or is thrust upon us. The “What If” is inextricably tied to change, yet is not a master of change.
OK, So you ponder this, and I will be back