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What Are We Collaborating About?

Collaboration is often thought to be the key to organizational success, especially as business becomes increasingly global and cross-functional. From LinkedIn to Forbes and Havard Business Journal, we consistently hear about the importance of collaboration in the digital workplace. Despite this focus on collaboration, it remains an overused-under practiced word.

The real challenge is defining exactly what we collaborating about. Does the group, the team, the leaders, the organization as whole understand the same problem? Do our different points of view lead to harmonious solutions? In a study done by Harvard Business Review and reported in the article Collaborative Overload it was found that around one-third of value-added collaborations come from only 3%-5% of employees. We are not only seeing a lack of collaboration implementation in the work-place, but often it also inefficient, and places the weight of success on only a few members of the team.

"IBM CIO Report” by Ivan Walsch. CC 4.0

The article states, "Collaboration is indeed the answer to many of today’s most pressing business challenges. But more isn’t always better. Leaders must learn to recognize, promote, and efficiently distribute the right kinds of collaborative work, or their teams and top talent will bear the costs of too much demand for too little supply.”

To create continuity and full-understanding of a situation and a problem the group must be working towards the same goals. Here are three tips to improve collaboration and make it functional for your workplace.

  • Leverage Technology - Make informational, social and personal resources more accessible and transparent to help individuals access key information and make informed decisions about collaborative activities.

  • Utilize Collaborative Business Process Management (BPM) - Collaborative Business Process Management provides deep visibility, understanding, and management of your business while promoting teamwork, enhancing employee knowledge, and developing a culture of constant improvement.

  • Measure and Optimize - Continuous management, measurement and optimization of processes and modes of communication will lead to far more efficient collaboration across teams, projects, and an organization.

Align your collaboration efforts with the needs and goals of the business by taking these steps and see the results for yourself. To learn more, contact Thought Layer to discuss your Business Engineering needs and prescriptive approaches that will enable your business for success in an increasingly digital world.

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