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What Would Happen if Your Organization Didn't Invest in Collaboration?

Posted by on May 10, 2012

I (and many others) have spent a great deal of time talking about why organizations should invest their resources in collaboration tools and strategies.  But let’s assume for a moment that you didn’t.  How long do you realistically see your organization going on without making this investment; 1 year, 2 years, 3 years?  Do you really see your organization waiting this long?

At this point I have probably worked with, spoken with, and researched hundreds of companies and it’s rare to come across an organization that nothing in place when it comes to collaboration.  At the very least I run into organizations with some sort of a Sharepoint deployment or other collaboration software deployment.  But many of these organizations assume that the technology deployment alone is considered a “collaboration investment.”  That’s not the case.

What do I mean when I say invest in collaboration?

There are a couple parts to this which wall under two umbrellas, the technology side and the business side.

The Technology Side

When it comes to technology it’s already a given that some sort of tools need to be put in place but it doesn’t stop there.  Technology also needs to involve integration strategies, customization, employee feedback integration, upgrades, maintenance, design and usability.  The goal of these platforms is to have them act as the “front-door” to the enterprise so that employees can get everything they need from a single place.  As you can imagine, this requires more than just deploying a tool in isolation.

The Business Side

This is what many organizations tend to ignore.  “Business” is a general term but to keep things simple I include everything that isn’t technology in this area.  This includes things such as developing use cases, evangelists, strategy development, employee adoption, measures of success, focusing on individual as well as corporate value, education and training, risk evaluation, and long term vision.  For many organizations it’s hard to focus on people in the context of how technology affects and enables them so oftentimes they deploy something and assume that employees will just figure it out.

Deploying a tool isn’t an investment in collaboration, it’s an investment in just that, a tool.  Collaboration is about people and the tools are just the enablers.  The next time the topic of collaboration comes up at your organization ask yourself if this is really something you are investing in.