22nd May 2017
How to Identify Collaborative Workers and Why They Are Key to Enterprise Success.
An assumption: Ask a CEO, CTO or CIO if they would like their organisation to be more collaborative and 9 times out of 10, you'll probably hear them answer YES. Of course. Who wouldn't?
In fact, according to a Gartner 2016 report in the lead up to their annual digital workplace summit, the top priority for attending CTOs and CIOs was collaboration tools and platforms.
Certainly, both anecdotally and in many industry reports, there seems to be a movement towards making organisations, in their entirety, more collaborative.
On paper, it's certainly makes sense: by making the entire organisation more collaborative, ideas and information is shared more freely, innovation increases, silos are tore down and the organisation in question achieves or surpasses its objectives.
But it's this organisational wide, boil the ocean approach, however, that could be standing in the way of making an organisation more collaborative.
You see, not everyone in an organisation collaborates or needs to collaborate. In fact, according to Labor Force Statistics from a Current Population Survey in 2015 collaboration workers represented 10.5 million US workers (7.1% of employment), based on an analysis of US employment by occupation.
So, taking that at an organisational level, say 7.1% of your organisation work collaboratively. Can you identify who they are? And if you can, what can you put in place to help them drive your organisation toward its objectives.
In this article, we'll firstly outline the traits of collaborative workers and then follow that with part 2, which will put forward ideas around processes and infrastructure to put in place to maximise their efforts.
Collaborative teams create and share lots of work involving many drafts and revisions. Interim and final work products include documents, images, walk-throughs, videos, web pages, blog posts, software code, whiteboards, diagrams, designs, reports and graphics.
Most collaborative work is done under a schedule for completion. Think product launches or iterating on an existing body of work to respond to change in strategy from a competitor. Projects may be recurring or ad hoc.
While the overall result of the project is well defined at the outset, the specific form of the outcome and even the creative steps used to achieve the result are generally undefined. Often there's no blue-print, meetings can happen in an ad hoc way. You only have to reference the rise in huddle rooms to see a physical manifestation of this trait.
Collaboration work across departments within enterprises and with outside sources such as customers and suppliers.
Collaboration workers are nomadic within their work environment as they interact with other team members. They may also travel outside the physical location. They prefer wireless devices so they can take their work with them. They prefer working in open spaces with smaller team interaction spaces that are consistent across locations.
Subscribe and stay tuned to our next blog post which will put forward ideas around processes and infrastructure to embrace and optimise the performance of these collaborative workers.
You may also be interested in our blog post, Collaborate to Innovate.