Collaboration – What’s the fuss?
Let’s start by looking at what collaboration actually means, where does the word come from? So glad you asked. Collaboration comes actually from a conglomerate of a French word and a late latin word. Tracing collaboration back to its origins, we arrive at collabōrō, which means to work together. Turns out this working together was already important during ancient roman times.
But at the same time it’s one of those empty phrases you might find in a job description, such as ‘team-player with a proactive mindset’. So what does it even mean to work together? One thing is sure, working together is extremely important, so important that companies that look to tackle this challenge have billion dollar valuation.
To skip to the end of a long argument, no collaboration within companies is still immensely broken, at places it even lies in shatters, scattered over a myriad of tools that were purchased to finally fix the collaboration challenge. Which is staggering, since collaboration is the one thing companies need to do to work together in order to make decisions. Actually collaboration is also important from a monetary perspective. Studies found in 2015 that executives highly value collaboration because it has a direct impact on profitability. Just imagine you run a company and your sales and development team do not collaborate with each other, you can pretty much guess the profitability of products made without reference to customers.
In fact, collaboration is not an easy task to fix, it’s not just about giving people a place to talk. If we look at ants, they communicate with sound, pheromones and all sorts of other ways so they don’t need technology, but we humans only have words, especially in written communication. That’s why we need to make technology our sounds and pheromones.
Collaboration is also a fickle thing. People won’t always collaborate, just like they won’t always answer an email. Tools need to make sure people understand the reason why their collaboration and insights are sought. On top of that it’s human nature to stray from a topic. And collaboration tools often turn more into a chat for informal conversation and NSFW discussions.
As the person initiating collaboration it’s important to facilitate collaboration. Here are a few tips how to facilitate discussions to support a goal oriented collaboration:
· Ask concrete questions
· Mention your colleagues by name if you want to get insights from them specifically
· Keep the discussion alive by sharing relevant content such as links
One thing is for sure, if we want to fix the challenge of internal collaboration companies face everywhere in the world we need to employ a mix of tools and best practices to facilitate collaboration. Download our one-pager and find out how Fingertip facilitates collaboration.