Making a Business Case for Collaboration
In this book, Ray Schwemmer and Rick Havrilla, the co-founders of CollabraSpace, not only explain why collaboration is necessary, but how good collaboration happens, and perhaps most important, how it doesn’t. Written in soothing tones, the authors make a case for collaboration not based on hippy-dippy psycho-babble (“Sharing makes you feel good about yourself…”) but rather on productivity, revenue gains and common sense. This is the book you can anonymously place on both the CIO and CEO’s desk.
The book first addresses why collaboration can be hard and why it often fails within the enterprise. These scenarios will sound familiar -- deploying one-size-fits-all solutions, not accounting for different software compatibility, thinking that technology will solve it all.
Once you understand that it takes more than just technology to help employees collaborate effectively, the next step is to understand and accept the three critical characteristics of collaboration: Security, fully-integrated, and enterprise-wide. This is progress -- before even tackling issues of collaboration across social networks or breaking down information silos, the reader is taught “form follows function.” The authors write
Many organizations, their leaders, and their CIOs are continually evaluating solutions and integrating them into their enterprise architectures. This means that architectures are in a constant process of controlled sprawl. However, you are standing up different solutions in your system haphazardly, without regard for how they will work together."
Bringing Collaboration to the People
What makes this book appropriate and effective for CIOs and company leaders is that it makes collaboration look like a top-down approach, rather than a groundswell. Leaders will be inspired to bring collaboration to the people, as if they are bestowing freedom to the proletariat. At this point, as we approach 2012, if your company hasn’t yet fully embraced collaboration, it doesn’t matter why it happens, just that it does. Schwemmer and Harvrilla address the concerns that employees have about force-fed collaboration, so leaders are behooved to take into consideration the challenges, so that integrating a corporate collaborative solution eliminates the barrier to entry by the end users.
Over all, this book takes a smart approach to educating the powers that be about the benefits of enterprise collaboration. For anyone wanting to persuade their leaders about adopting collaborative technologies, Dynamic Collaboration lends many passages worthy of sharing, without accusation of being one of the empowered.