The Collaboration Collection
Collaborative work practices, supported by an ever-increasing number of ever-more powerful technologies, are entrenched in many organizations, but they are by no mean universally successful or effective. A number of obstacles – from corporate culture to recognition and reward practices to leadership uncertainty and reluctance – get in the way of empowering employees to do what comes naturally: work together, sharing expertise, information, and best practices for the benefit of the organization.
Tammy Erickson and her colleagues identified the power of collaboration early on, not just as a work practice but as an organizational value and – potentially – an organizing principle. In 2006, collaborating with Lynda Gratton of the London School of Economics, Tammy developed and executed a multinational collaborative primary research project to identify cooperative best practices, and created a diagnostic for companies to understand their collaborative capacity – a diagnostic still used today.
Since then, Tammy Erickson Associates have led numerous other research projects on collaboration, digging deeper into why it’s critical for creating and maintaining an engaged workforce that works collectively to create, share, and leverage deep, proprietary institutional knowledge in response to incredibly rapid competitive challenges. Collaboration is essential to developing the agility and flexibility organizations need to turn on a dime, so to speak, as new technologies, competitors, and crises threaten market presence, position, or power.
This Collaboration Collection from Tammy Erickson Associates contains a selection of collaboration-focused research papers, white papers, and reports developed over the last few years. The collection was constructed to give readers insights into why collaboration is important, how collaboration can be achieved or improved, what some of the key challenges are, and how the ROI from collaboration is being measured by companies in a variety of industries. We end the collection with a detailed case study showcasing how one organization that has turned collaboration into a standard practice.
The collection opens with TEA’s 2012 white paper, Catalyzing the Adoption of Collaboration Technology. The challenges to achieving high levels of adoption in collaborative activities that will drive productivity and innovation are many. Technology must be thoughtfully designed, using the best possible understanding of human behavior. The strategy for collaboration must incorporate the highest-value applications, organizational processes and structures that encourage aligned behavior, and a relationship with employees that encourages discretionary effort. We believe that when widely adopted, collaborative technology can create a fundamental step change in productivity within an organization. This paper focuses specifically on the 10 Collaborative Intents that need to underlie collaboration initiatives; these are the hallmarks of TEA’s approach to designing collaboration.
In How Collaboration Will Drive the Next Step Change in Productivity, we take a deeper look into each of the 10 Collaborative Intents by examining the many different roles collaboration can play in driving business performance. Examples of how each has been successfully implemented in specific companies offer concrete evidence that any collaboration strategy has to get specific to be effective.
The New Social Media Mindset: Organizational Principles and Governance Processes is a practical examination of how to “get started” in the social media space. In this report we examine different organizing structures, processes, and policies based on strategic approach.
Law 2.0: Getting Past Legal Objections to Enterprise Collaboration confronts the fact that new technologies that are engaging customers, employees, partners and/or collaborators inevitably challenge corporate policies and practices around information dissemination and sharing. The result can be friction between the strategic imperative and the legal considerations. Due diligence is important, but legal counsel does not have to be a barrier to technologies that offer greater productivity and innovation. The challenge is for the business to narrate the business need to legal professionals and to collaboratively find appropriate measures of control for new collaboration technologies.
Together, Achieving ROI: Optimizing the Value of Collaboration Initiatives – Part 1: What You Need to Know and Part 2: How Do You Start describe how to make a compelling business case for use of collaborative technologies and present examples that prove real returns are possible and have been achieved. You’ll understand the critical importance of aligning the collaborative intents with the business outcomes you are trying to achieve, and measuring results in a clear and transparent way. Part 2 provides offers multiple examples of organizations that have measured the return on investment relative to the 10 fundamental intents that we have identified. These organizations got ahead of the curve in terms of running collaborative initiatives and demonstrating the tangible value such initiatives can provide. The report explains each one, outlines the appropriate metrics for assessing performance, and provides examples of early adopters that are measuring and maximizing the impact of investments in collaborative technologies.
In the final research report of this collection, we take a deep dive into the CompanyCommand Forum, a collaborative learning ecosystem for U.S. Army Company Commanders. This case study tells how two officers in the U.S. Army filled a critical leadership development gap by creating and developing a unique knowledge sharing and collaboration platform. While Case Study: The U.S. Army CompanyCommand Forum: Critical Leader Constituencies Collaborating for Knowledge Sharing and Development is clearly a military example, we believe their detailed insights, based on a decade of experience of how to successfully develop and maintain an active collaboration platform are readily applicable to any organization.
We think you will find this collection of seven documents on collaboration is a unique and thoughtful road map to developing a rich collaborative culture and effective collaborative best practices in your organization.
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