Some of the largest, most successful global organizations have key habits to collaboration.
That may seem like a small number, but best-selling author, futurist, and leading keynote speaker on the future of work Jacob Morgan insists that these key habits to collaboration are all that separate successful organizations from organizations that aren’t collaborating effectively.
Jacob would know, too.
“I wrote a book a while ago specifically on collaboration, and for that book I interviewed over 100 senior leaders at global organizations,” says Morgan. “I was very interested in what makes collaboration work and what doesn’t make collaboration work.
“I noticed a bit of a pattern started to emerge. All of the people I would speak with would list one of these twelve things when it came to collaboration. That became this concept of the habits of highly collaborative organizations,” says Morgan. “The idea is, essentially, if you want to be successful with collaboration and with these types of technologies in your organization, these are the twelve things you can do to ensure success. The more of them you can do, the more successful you will become.”
The eBook, which can be downloaded here, is a joint effort with Prysm, a digital workplace platform provider that empowers collaboration through Prysm Application Suite and Prysm Displays. As a provider of collaboration technology, Prysm had a keen interest in Morgan’s insights.
“We engaged with Jacob last year. We really took to heart what he was talking about with the future of work message. It aligned closely with what Prysm is seeking to offer from a technology perspective,” says David Schweer, Director of Product Marketing for Prysm.
When Morgan was doing his research for his book, and ultimately for this eBook, he was keenly aware that technology would play a large role. Technology goes hand in hand with collaboration in many organizations – even if it’s as simple as something like Google Docs. But is it technology that forms the key habits, or the other way around?
“I think it’s a little bit of both,” says Morgan. “For example, one of the habits is lead by example. For something like that you don’t need technology in place. But then there are other habits, like integrate into the flow of work, which is a little bit more focused on the technology aspect. It’s hard to say what comes first, it’s kind of like the chicken and the egg.”
Technology isn’t the only aspect of true collaboration. You can’t collaborate without employees.
“In the rapidly changing world that we live in, the most valuable asset you have is your people,” says Morgan. “They are the best ones to identify new opportunities and mitigate threats coming at your organization. You want to make sure your people are armed with the best information, and you want to make sure they are able to communicate and collaborate with each other in order to identify those opportunities and mitigate those threats.”
“One of the things that we’re researching with our customers right now is the idea of employee networks,” says Schweer. “We’ve come to the conclusion that well-networked organizations are also resilient. They see changes in competition coming faster and adapt to changes much faster.”
The easy problems have already been solved, what we’re left with now are complex problems. “The only way to solve those problems is to use the collective intelligence of your employees,” says Schweer. “A lot of companies are failing to do that.”
“Organizations need new types of technologies that allow employees to get access to collaboration and communication at scale,” says Morgan. “Employees want a new way to interact with each other. Technology is a huge component of collaboration, the future of work, and the overall employee experience.
“Helping the individual will help the company,” says Morgan.
It’s clear that technology is a huge part of the collaboration in organization. However, many of the habits don’t apply to technology, but rather company culture.
“The way to look at this list is, essentially, the more of these things you can do, the more successful you will become,” says Morgan. “Every organization is at a different level, but even something like strategy doesn’t need to take a long time. None of these habits are designed to take years. Collaboration strategies today don’t need to be overly complex.
“Without a strategy it’s hard to do some of these elements. If you don’t have a strategy in place then when you talk about something like creating a supportive environment – for what?” says Morgan. “The strategy piece is crucial to have because it dictates what the rest of these things can do.”
You can learn much more about the key habits to collaboration by downloading the eBook.