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Jacob Morgan
Jacob Morgan
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Collaboration Strategy: Avoid The Online Dating Syndrome

No matter how you spice up your profile, you'll never be a collaborative organization if you're lying to yourself. Here's how to build a better workplace, starting with what you've got.

Lowe's has also built tremendous momentum around collaboration. The company's CEO is a great proponent of this effort. In fact, he writes one of the most popular blogs within the company, engaging with more than 285,000 employees several times a week.

Here are some other efforts I have seen companies make to foster a collaborative environment:

--Change the way employees are evaluated by making collaboration part of their salary or bonus plan.

--Shift rewards to focus on teams rather than on individuals.

--Create games and puzzles for teams to solve.

--Host jam sessions to brainstorm new ideas.

--Make strong senior executive support available, not just financially but with a physical presence.

--Allow more flexible work environments.

--Remove cubicles and change dress codes.

--Change the vision of the company and make it known that collaboration is the future of work.

Of course, not all such efforts are possible at all companies, and there is no single template that we can apply. The goal is simply to get you to think differently about collaboration. Think about how your collaboration initiatives can be supported. How can you truly embed collaboration within your company beyond simply deploying a tool?

As you build your collaboration strategy, remember to start with an online profile that actually looks like you. After all, you never know when you might meet that special someone.

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User Rank: Apprentice
9/7/2012 | 7:17:43 PM
re: Collaboration Strategy: Avoid The Online Dating Syndrome
Absolutely on target. This isn't just true of collaboration - it is true of many trends that some businesses use for success, while others just try to sound-alike instead of do-alike. Whether it be collaboration, agile development, six sigma, etc. I have too often seen organizations trumpet they have embraced such technologies, when they are not technologies - they are processes that only occur when the organization changes their ways, their culture, their goals. Unfortunately, too many boards and other oversight bodies don't check to see if orgnaization leaders are playing buzzword bingo with PR-oriented exercises, rather than looking at the elusive "corporate culture" measuring stick. In the end, you can tell when you walk into an organization where people are engaged vs. disengaged, but all too often middle managers are too interested in checking off the box that they supported the latest initiative upper management asked for, rather than taking the time to really make a difference with their employees. Simple things that you listed make a big difference: valuing employee feedback is huge. If managers cannot have open discussion with employees, then you are not collaborating - you are simply commanding and calling it something else.
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