The power of collaboration isn’t one that can be ignored, but it also isn’t something that just happens. This article from Gartner lists six ways to not only help facilitate collaboration, but to make it the driving force behind work effort and success. According to Gartner, any CIO “will fail in their efforts to improve business performance outcomes through business process management (BPM) if they cannot overcome major barriers to cross-functional communication and collaboration.” To that end, Gartner recommends extreme collaboration (XC), which puts enormous emphasis on facilitating collaboration throughout the organization. Overcoming those barriers are not necessarily easy, but the payoff is so high that CIOs would be foolish to be daunted. The six best practices include:
- Foster the use of web based collaboration
- Exploit near-real-time communication addiction
- Use crowdsourcing
- Change the reward system for collaboration
- Use social networks to measure collaborative behavior
- Plan group events to kick start real-time communication
The use of “near-real-time communication addiction” means to utilize the desire to update facebook, twitter, and the like. As the article explains: The surge in real-time, or near-real-time, communication activities, such as texting, tweeting or updating Facebook, is not just a fad and businesses should embrace and encourage such behavior. Establishing real-time communication habits in the workplace enables a freer flow of information and more proactive notifications, so that people can respond more quickly to unexpected events and business disruptions. This can address the common problem of information being constrained and delayed through formal communication channels that run up and down the organizational hierarchy, or through defined email and need-to-know distribution lists. Real-time communication can break entrenched behaviors of relying on the management hierarchy to distribute information appropriately and, thereby, help overcome some of the communication-related problems associated with organizational politics. While it may take time to fully establish extreme collaboration, it is the only way that teams and indeed companies scattered across the globe will be able to benefit from the innovation and excellence which occurs through highly communicative organizations.