I came across an interesting blog on the Mindjet site by Troy Larson. There are individuals in some very successful companies that hold the title of Chief Collaboration Officer. In my experience, the contribution that collaboration makes to a competitive business includes:
- A culture focused on activity and execution
- Knowledge and learning is informal and effective
- There is greater resilience against both internal and external forces acting on the business
- Reduced risk of knowledge drain when people leave the organisation
Many of my clients see the use of an online learning platform like DOTS LMS to be an integral tool in supporting a collaborative environment. I have recently been introduced to an online collaboration platform called Podio that is a feature rich, multi- faceted solution that includes knowledge capture, sharing, project and task management, recruitment, customer relationship management among many other features. The client using Podio has a diverse workforce operating in corporate and home offices. The employees are able to access the online Podio environment via a link in the DOTS LMS user interface.
The technology is only the easy part of collaboration actually. The more difficult aspects of collaboration relate to organisational and individual change processes. The best collaboration tools will not overcome a reluctance or unwillingness to engage in collaboration. The people side of collaboration is where most efforts fail.
There are many reasons for such failure. In his blog, Troy Larson covered the idea of having a person or team accountable for collaboration as opposed to leaving collaboration to individual whim or interest. In your organisation, is there a person accountable for collaboration? If not, what role would be most likely best aligned to plan and execute a collaboration strategy?