The 12 habits of highly collaborative organizations | TechRepublic

Posted on by Brandon Klein

1.  Individual benefit is just as important as the overall corporate benefit (if not more important)

Don’t focus on the overall corporate value and benefit when communicating collaboration to employees.  Employees care about how this will impact them on an individual basis.  How will this make their jobs and lives easier?

2.  Strategy before technology

Before rushing to pick that shiny new collaboration platform focus on developing a strategy which will help you understand the “why” before the “how.”  This is crucial for the success of any collaboration initiative.  You don’t want to be in a position where you have deployed a technology without understanding why.  This can become a very costly mistake later.

3.  Listen to the voice of the employee

We are always so adamant about listening to the voice of the customer, what about the voice of the employee?  When going down the collaboration road within your enterprise it’s important to make employees a part of the decision making process from step one.  Listen to their ideas, their needs, and their suggestions and integrate their feedback in your technology and strategy.

4.  Learn to get out of the way

This is something Andrew McAfee (author of Enterprise 2.0 and co-author of Race Against the Machine) talks about quite frequently.  Learn to empower and support your employees and then get out of their way.  By trying to enforce and police everything you stifle collaboration within your organization.  Some best practices and guidelines are fine to have but let your employees do what they need to do.  Managers need to learn to follow from the front.

5.  Lead by example

If leaders at your organization don’t use and support collaborative tools and strategies then why should the employees?  Leaders are very powerful instruments to facilitate change and encourage desired behaviors. They must be visibly on board and this goes beyond just funding.

6.  Integrate into the flow of work

Collaboration should never be seen as an additional task or requirement for employees.  Instead collaboration should fit naturally into their flow of work.  For example instead of having employees use multiple usernames, passwords, and log-in sites; create a “front-door” to the enterprise accessed through your collaboration platform.