A culture for collaboration

In the comments of my last post Regina Miller points to her posts at Corante’s Future Tense on creating a culture for collaboration where she extends some of the ideas and thoughts from Nancy White on collaboration with Web 2.0 tools. Nancy tries to dispel the myth of “effortless collaboration”, which is what the marketing hype will be selling and provides some great insight into why there is no such thing. Regina also points to Steve Coats on the softer side of collaboration which adds further depth to the discussion.

Fundamentally it all comes down to corporate culture. Some companies just do not generate a culture of collaboration and I would also suspect that they also have a larger grey zone. Culture influences so many aspects that it should never be ignored or even underestimated.

One final thought IT should never drive broad workplace technology projects. However they tend to end up at the helm because no other department stands up. In my personal view a technology project should be driven by the function who services end customer and owns the end result. Where employees are concerned, this is HR. If you are an HR director where are you? Marketing would never let IT drive a CRM project, Finance a new finance system the same should be for employee tools. Period.

3 thoughts on “A culture for collaboration

  1. Michael, I have been thinking a lot lately about “what it all comes down to.” I think corporate culture is a big part of it, but I think it goes beyond the boundary of the organization.

    First, a lot of the collaboration and cooperation needed today crosses organizational boundaries. It crosses professional boundaries. It crosses national and cultural boundaries.

    When you think of it, it is a pretty huge “ask” to look at a team and say “collaborate.” We are asking for a fundamental SERIES of shifts. When we look at this way, it is much easier to see why tools are not the panacea. They are just tools to help us as we struggle with the much larger issues of how do we work with people who may be fundamentally different from us. In any sense of the word. And succeed!

  2. So true, it is not the tool it is what you do with it. My wife and I spend about an hour talking this through further she has a series of changes that she needs to bring into her workplace and needing to make sure the culture from the board down matches the desired outcomes. This as you say requires a series of smaller changes. One of the best tips for culture change I have ever been given as “to do 100 small things every day with intend and purpose”.

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