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The shortcut to effective collaboration
I am afraid there is none! Organizations must not expect instant change and added value simply by deploying new tools. The proliferation of standalone collaboration tools that have been hastily deployed without integration with existing enterprise content management systems and search facilities has resulted in very little contribution to the overall knowledge management capabilities of the organisation.
Collaboration is not a binary equation; it is about knowledge-sharing, the knitting together of communities and partnerships inside and outside the organization. The answer lies in a change of management & business processes and creating a culture that is conducive to collaboration, rather than just technology substitution. Creating or just finding existing communities with common goals and objectives that are empowered and prepared to challenge the norm is exactly what is required to create momentum behind the new tools. But achieving this depends on how much an organization is willing to forgo the command and control management style for an inclusive and collaborative one that tolerates new and even controversial ideas and ways of working.
Collaboration is clearly a socio-technological phenomenon where careful attention must be paid to people, process and technology if organisations are serious about realising the benefits of the social collaboration revolution. Maybe it is time collaboration strategy moved to the top of CIO’s agenda.