I have been working with SharePoint since the release of the 2003 version. I have been involved with helping companies create business strategies and research market dynamics for about 10 years now. In my opinion, the term “Collaboration” always seems to be a point of confusion for organizations.
You can ask 10 people what it means, and get 10 different responses. Collaboration can mean different things to different companies depending upon their respective industries. In my opinion though, Collaboration should be viewed in a strategic light at every company. By this I mean someone on the executive management team should have ownership of, and responsibility for, driving collaboration within the enterprise.
In the book, “Empowered: Unleash your Employees, Energize your Customers, Transform your Business” by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler of Forrester Research, they define Collaboration as follows…
Collaboration is a business strategy – a way to improve the productivity of people and teams and accelerate the flow of information throughout the company.
When viewed in this light, you can see a collaboration strategy would drive being a more responsive (nimble) company because you are improving the flow of information, and the way teams of people work together. Improved responsiveness to your customers, responsiveness to your employees, responsiveness to your markets.
Why Collaboration Needs to Be Improved
Bernoff and Schadler echo the point that our customers are more empowered now than ever before.
Because customers have easier access to information. They can easily and quickly influence more people (existing or potential customers) with that information today than ever before.
4 technologies now put more power in the hands of your customers:
- Smart Mobile Devices
- Pervasive Video (think You Tube)
- Cloud Computing Services
- Social Technology (think Facebook, Twitter)
The Purpose of My Blog
The book is a very enlightening read. For me, the book sums up a lot of real-world observations I have experienced throughout the past decade in working with clients from numerous industries, as well as being part of a management team at a company. I have had these thoughts running through my head for a while now.
“Empowered” has motivated me to start recording my thoughts within this blog to keep me moving down the path of helping companies improve their Collaboration capabilities – via the use of the SharePoint platform – to drive business value.