Thursday , 21 June 2018
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We’re undervaluing collaboration

Collaboration isn’t just something you want to happen in your office. Our economy, the political system and civilization itself may be productively analyzed as a series of collaborations. (Not to be confused with the late Sen. Ted Stevens’ virally ridiculed “series of tubes.”) How we feed, clothe, educate, amuse and entertain ourselves relies on a remarkably complex and yet surprisingly unremarked-upon series of collaborations. 

We live in an interdependent age. Very little today is the product of just one actor working alone. Collaboration, collaborators and the technologies they choose to use are the key drivers of modern existence. Organizational success in every vertical market depends on effective collaboration — both internal and external to the enterprise — and yet collaboration is, in most instances, unmeasured and unmanaged. This has to change. 

If today’s collaboration tools (just a partial listing of the amazing array includes Asana, Atlassian, Cisco Spark, Evernote, Igloo, Jabber, Google Docs and Google Drive G-Suite, Office365, OneDrive, Pipedrive, Podio, Ryver, Sharepoint, Skype, Slack, Solstice, Trello, Volerro, WebEx, Yammer) are to come anywhere close to realizing their full potential, management teams around the world are going to have to get much better at understanding their series of collaborations. 

As critically important as collaboration is to success in our increasingly digitized world, it is essentially invisible. Nowhere on an enterprise’s systematically produced documents (e.g., the balance sheet or a 10K) will you find collaboration measured. 

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