Articles Tagged With: "collaboration"
I am delighted to announce my new book "A Systematic Guide to Collaboration and Competition within Organizations" which is currently available at a special launch price of £5 for the paperback and £0.99 for the kindle version.
By observing newly formed and existing teams playing business simulations I have learned some important insights into how team-working 'evolves' and offer here some specific ideas on how you might accelerate this evolution in your own organizational teams.
On the road to Effective Team Collaboration there seems to be two intermediate phases of 'naïve collaboration' which many teams seem to go through - Hyper-Communication and Over-Delegation.
Most approaches to project management concentrate on the tasks which need to be successfully completed to achieve the project goal. Important as this is, it is at most only half of the story of successful project management. The C3 approach addresses the hidden side of project management - the people-collaboration-end-result perspective and is also a powerful tool for conducting a quick project healthcheck.
In his unique book "Dialogue and the art of thinking together" William Issacs introduces the Four-Player System originally developed by David Kantor. This is a very important technique for supporting real collaborative thinking in teams.
The boundaries of digital collaboration extend way beyond document sharing and communications. PathXL are a Belfast-based Digital Collaboration/Big Data company who have developed workflow/data analytics software to help pathologists and clinicians make quicker, faster diagnoses of complex cancer tumour patterns and to work more effectively with colleagues in clinical cross-functional teams.
I have been invited to participate in a software beta test which is using an online tool called Trello to coordinate test feedback. Trello is very simple and powerful and sits halfway between a forum and a wiki. It is a great tool for capturing and structuring feedback from a community in a really easy way and very compatible with a bioteams style of working.
"If we want to do something creative, outside the box, innovative and un-traditional I am doubtful that sitting in a traditional meeting room, having a traditional meeting and following a traditional meeting script is going to move us toward that vision". Jamie Billingham summarises best practices for radically improving meetings.
A lot of my work involves facilitating large meetings where groups need to collaborate to resolve difficult issues or develop future plans for working together. Over the last 12 months I have started to share 4 Golden Rules with the participants which always seem to significantly improve the results we get. Here they are!
The Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina recently published a useful white paper on the topical area of developing skills for virtual teams. It is available online and in PDF. What I found most interesting was the section on Virtual Team Challenges.
Most collaborative ventures don't turn out quite the way we envisage. It would be great if we could determine in advance if a particular collaborative project or joint venture will be worth the required investment. Here is a simple way you can assess the merits of any collaborative endeavour BEFORE you invest time, effort and money in failing to make it work.
The latest report (September 2011) on Virtual Teams, Virtual Work Environments in the Post-Recession Era, from Brandman University, includes very interesting results of a survey commissioned from Forrester in 2010 on Virtual Teams.
I recently worked with colleagues to identify savings through collaboration between different local councils. Each council delivers the same basic services to their citizens and the brief was to identify potential shared savings which would not compromise service quality. We used a simple but novel design method to achieve this goal which is very relevant in today's harsh economic climate.
#1 The Social Media Healthcheck Reference Card
#2 The Seven Secrets of High Performing Teams (AudioCast)
#3 Leading collaborative business networks - 10 rules
Get all 3 here!
I am involved with a UK programme which is facilitating fast-track business collaboration between enterprises in the Interiors and Lifestyles markets (furniture, jewelry, ceramics, soft furnishings, clothing etc). The project is taking its own medicine and operates as a collaborative between Birmingham City University (BCU) and The Ceramics Industry Federation (CIF).
I am pleased to launch the YouTeamFast blog/online resource which pulls together Twenty One of my best techniques for assessing, mobilising, operating and improving teams and is the second website in my YouWorkFast series.
The most common approach to business collaboration (Planned Collaboration) involves prior analysis of the participants to try to identify shared interests in collaboration (e.g. as complementary players in a collaborative supply network). Another more radical approach (Serendipitous Collaboration) involves putting a random mix of companies in a room and seeing what develops. Guess what - Serendipitous Collaboration works really well provided you have a good process for uncovering synergies!
When you are leading or facilitating any kind of collaborative business network or venture you need to know that these are very different kinds of team than you encounter inside organisations. These are "bioteams" so-called because each team has a life of its own and the normal team "command and control" simply does not work. To be successful you need to know The Ten Rules for herding cats!
One of the hardest things for a group of companies to do is to find some quick-win low-risk area where they can build trust by working together BEFORE they embark on something major. The Collaborative Opportunities Dashboard Tool allows companies to quickly explore a dozen practical ways to work together with the goal of meaningful results in 12 weeks or less.
IT in Canada report on the Top Ten Collaboration Trends for 2010 as seen by Barry O'Sullivan, Senior Vice President of Cisco Voice Technology Group. Barry expects to see more things like Intercompany Collaboration (3), Connected Device Proliferation (7) and Customer Collaboration (10) - all of which resonate strongly with The Bioteaming Manifesto.
There are 10 really critical foundations to make a Virtual Enterprise Network a success: 1) Communities and Project Dynamic, 2) Network Ground Rules, 3) Group Membership Structures, 4) Practical Group Structures, 5) Complete set of Network Roles, 6) Appropriate Legal Frameworks, 7) Practical Exchange Model, 8) Viable Stakeholder Ecosystem, 9) Realistic Network Development Model, 10) Proven Development Road Map. This article offers an introduction to these ten foundations.