Introduction to collaboration
A company looking to implement collaboration as an initiative must address how they will deal with the paradox of freedom to collaborate, and the controls required by governmental agencies and corporate policy. There may be a need to apply different levels of control and freedom to different parts of the company. This can cause an issue around how collaboration is addressed between departments (or outside companies) with different levels of authority, access, and control. A current day example of how this is not working is when sales and finance or finance and marketing have to work together. Each group is working within their own boundaries, and most times the two groups do not function well due to lack of understanding on how to collaborate and set proper guidelines. Don’t forget the difference between cultures, countries and the minimum learning capabilities of each group.
In an ideal world, communication and information would flow freely from the top down and the bottom up, however, in the real world this is not the case. There are many reasons for this (a topic for another paper), suffice it to say that in today’s complex companies, communication and information flow must be pushed throughout the organization. The only way to do this, is to utilize technology that has cognitive and rules-based capabilities to categorize and identify information that is both structured and unstructured.
The implementation of collaboration tools will not work if the information worker is not sharing all the information and knowledge required to achieve positive results. Therefore, technology may be the missing link to a successful implementation of collaboration throughout an organization, and with its customer and business partners.
Collaboration is about identity, communication, relationships, and mutual interactions. Major corporations through corporate hierarchies and limiting organizations have lost the ability to connect individuals to their company’s values, camaraderie’s, customers, and their marketplace. Collaboration may be the salvation of those major corporations that embrace the complexity theory and appreciate the potential of structured chaos.
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