Why Collaboration Doesn’t Work (And Social Business Won’t Either)

Comments: 3

  • Collaboration does work, we at Tracky Inc are a national company and it works for us. We even developed our own software Tracky which we released this year – http://www.tracky.com. It has improved productivity and more important it has reduced the number of emails. It also allows any of us to access documents and comments on various projects easily. So it does work for our team.

  • These are all great points and the individuals in the best collaborations must truly listen to and respect what each of them brings into a collective effort. But there is one thing missing: leadership.

    Someone has to drive the collaboration – they have to keep getting the people to stay connected and communicating in a way that they are LEADING but not really managing what is happening.

    There has to be someone in each collaboration who leads by example – who has the respect of the rest of the team so they actually ACT when that leader calls for action. Otherwise the collaborations fall apart and nothing happens – or they become dormant waiting for someone to pick up the leader’s mantle and get them going again.

  • Jane, I think you make some interesting points. In the larger picture I think many people have gotten lost in this debate, and that is also the wrong debate. I’ve been one of the technology providers you mention for the last 5 years working at Jive and have interacted with hundreds of enterprises, most of the analysts/thought leaders in the space, and many of the other vendors.

    Here is how I have come to frame this (and it doesn’t undermine the points you are making so much as context them):

    1) The new social technologies have enabled new capabilities that previously were simply not possible with the tools we had. Those that could connect these new capabilities to the outcomes they wanted or the pain they had bolted out of the gates immediately (early adopters). There is a lot more to social platforms than simply an activity stream, so the technology choice is a really important one but to your point not the only important one.
    2) The new capabilities enable (and/or require) behavior and subsequent culture change. Without behavior changes that take full advantage of the capabilities then the technology is useless and the endeavor will fail.
    3) The behavior change needs to be focused on a clear outcome or said another way on providing tangible business value. Simply doing something new will not make a business successful. You have to be convinced that the new capabilities and behavior changes have allowed you to do something more cheaply, more quickly, with better quality, or with less human resources.

    I hope more of the debate starts revolving around the triumvirate of technology/behavior/business value and their relationship to each other rather than focusing on any one in a silo.

    Thanks for the article.

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