6 Ways To Build Management Support For Collaboration
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User Rank: Apprentice
11/6/2012 | 8:02:36 PM
re: 6 Ways To Build Management Support For Collaboration
The unfortunate and difficult problem is that other programs/topics are doing much of the above to sell themselves as well. Executives remain dubious - and with good reason - as to the actual return on "better collaboration," especially when it's a technology-wrapped, expensive approach (granted, the "freemium" approach as discussed above can help; but in larger enterprises these tend to quickly face scale and feature issues and sudden dead ends occur that can lead to abandonment or isolation/limitation of the free/low cost solution).

I think the issue of "selling collaboration" goes much deeper. One of the best retorts I ever heard regarding "what's the ROI on better collaboration?" is "what's the ROI of a meeting?" But then, that's where this underlying problem arises: many if not most managers have a deep distrust of even meetings, and for the wrong reasons. Yes, meetings are often useless affairs where a few people show off some knowledge, the same one or two people get burdened with work they were eventually going to get burdened with otherwise anyway, and others scamper off happily avoiding "action items" and dreading the "administrivia" accompanying a meeting. But all those excuses that provoke people to say "meetings are bad" are indicative, rather, of a poor ability to collaborate, regardless of technology, which is usually the tip of an iceberg of a conflict-avoidance, engagement-derelict, and/or poltiically challenged environment (along with many, many other behavioral and cultural issues underlying the attitude "meetings are no good").

Without addressing those real issues, "collaboration projects" are, at best, window dressing for some nice sharing tools a few people might use well and most will use at least for essential corporate needs (record-keeping, etc.), and, at worst, utter wastes of time.

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