Collaboration is turning into a bit of a buzz word these days. Organizations are now turning to collaboration to help solve their business problems. However, before they do that, organizations need to keep in mind these 5 myths of collaboration to make sure they don't steer themselves in the wrong direction.
According to a recent poll that CMSWire conducted, internal enterprise collaboration topped the list of organizational priorities for 2011 followed by "refining CMS and web engagement tools and practices" and "improvements around enterprise information and document management" in a very distant second and third respectively. This is certainly exciting to see and you can read Barb’s analysis and review of the poll for more information.
Towards the end of 2010 we also looked at the overall business impact of collaboration and reviewed a few key reports which were published. However, there are a few collaboration myths we should address and dispel before discussions within organizations around collaboration continue.
Myth 1: Collaboration is New
Collaboration has existed since the time when cavemen had to hunt together. Collaboration is not new yet we see a lot of buzz and hype around it as if it were something that was just being introduced into our organizations. In fact most of what we hear about Enterprise 2.0 is all around collaboration. The reality is that employees already collaborate daily at the water cooler, when they get lunch together, when they stop by each other’s desks and when they email each other.
No, collaboration is not new at all. What is new are the means and tools that employees can use to collaborate with one another, that is all. Now, instead of sending an email to a colleague an employee can pull together a private group or community online where they can work together to complete a project; as opposed to sending countless emails back and forth.
Keep in mind that here we are strictly talking about collaboration within the enterprise but collaboration also happens between a brand and its customers or perhaps a brand and its suppliers (something we are going to be discussing soon).
Myth 2: Collaboration Will Solve the Business Problems
Assuming that collaboration will solve all of your business problems is dangerous. Morten T. Hansen, wrote a book on collaboration and through his research over 15 years identifies that collaboration does not make sense for every type of project -- in fact employees can oftentimes fall into the trap of over collaborating with one another.