Successful organizations, big and small, are successful because of their ability to collaborate. Organizations that collaborate make more money. Collaboration is the predecessor to innovation and innovative companies win in today’s competitive landscape. Whether a company has two employees or 20,000, improved collaboration represents your best opportunity to tap the full talents of your people, move with greater speed and flexibility and compete to win over the next decade.
Then why is “selling” a collaboration strategy internally so darn hard?
Collaboration = culture + process + technology
You can’t achieve collaboration without all three working together and often it’s hard to demonstrate to an organization that perhaps their culture or their process is not conducive to an effective collaboration strategy. This is a hard sell. Technology can always be bought or retrofitted. It’s the first two, culture and process, that can grind an organization to a halt when determining the right collaboration solution path.
Here are three of the biggest challenges we see every day in pitching collaboration solutions to a team or organization:
1. People often don’t understand the meaning of Collaboration.
Collaboration is often misunderstood. Collaboration is an intangible tool for extracting knowledge, resources and ideas of anyone and everyone inside and outside an organization. Collaboration should be used to tap into your pool of talent and use the ideas and resources that will make your organization fit for a market that is changing at Mach speed.
Idea: Kick start your collaboration strategy by gaining a common interpretation of collaboration within your organization. Allowing people to phone in for a meeting is not collaboration but applying an interactive whiteboard session to your next planning session is a step that people can embrace.
2. People can’t track and measure collaboration output or define metrics.
The ROI on Collaboration can be defined by three specific measures: Operational measures, Productivity measures and Strategic Measures. An operational measure includes decreasing traveling costs and decreasing costs associated with office space. Collaboration can be measured by an increase in Productivity such as improved decision making cycles and efficient project completion. Strategic measures are harder to quantify but they include enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. If the benefits of collaboration are properly measured a huge ROI can be realized.
3. People don’t know how to build or execute a Collaboration strategy.
Many organizations embrace the idea of collaboration but often struggle to define the steps and actions to make it happen. They often lack a guide or thought leader with respect to how they should approach their collaboration strategy. Collaboration technology is often implemented without strategy and organizations never reap the benefits or ROI.
Idea: Create a Collaboration Roadmap using strategic planning methodologies. Many people jump into purchasing equipment before they think through a strategy. This is because it is easier to pitch a capital expense then tackle culture and process. Before investing in collaboration technology, map the needs and capabilities of the organization and assess the people receiving your messages.
Being more collaborative means knowing your weaknesses, openly communicating, being authentic to yourself and knowing your position on a team. To adopt a collaborative culture in an organization it must encourage authenticity, open and frequent communication, team based work, communication technology that is all interconnected and clear visions.
Free eBook to Get You Started…
If you have experienced one or all three these issues while trying to pitch collaboration to your organization, download this free guide: 47 Collaboration Quotes. We created this guide to help people use the quotes to sell collaboration within your organization and help you address these obstacles.