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Five Myths of Collaboration

Gartner Group has released a report identifying five collaboration myths. “Rather than making technology the starting point, IT leaders should first identify real business problems and key performance indicators (KPIs) that link to business goals” said Carol Rozwell, vice president and analyst at Gartner.

The five myths identified by Gartner are:

1. The right tools will make us collaborate

Technology can make collaboration easier if the application has an intuitive, fluid work style, but by selecting a tool without addressing roles, processes, metrics and the organization’s workplace climate is putting the “cart before the horse”.

2. Collaboration is inherently a good thing

Many organizations can’t articulate the benefits they hope to achieve by becoming more collaborative. This decreases the likelihood of achieving a successful implementation. The most successful social media initiatives solve real business problems. The KPIs impacted must be relevant to the business.

3. Collaborating takes extra time

If collaboration and social software tools are not integrated with other critical application, employees must shift context – which slows them down – or duplicate effort (cut and paste from one application to another).

4. People naturally will/ will not collaborate

While there are always people who believe that humans either naturally collaborate or naturally don’t, most lie in the middle and can be encouraged to collaborate under the right conditions. IT leaders should ignore the reluctant minority and work on motivating the majority who can be persuaded to collaborate when expectations are clear and collaborative behaviors rewarded.

5. People instinctively know how to collaborate

Without a clear set of expectations about what it means to work collaboratively with others, individuals will use their own interpretation of collaboration. A good approach is to clarify what attitude a collaborative individual needs to bring their work, what abilities and skills they need to master and what personal style works well in a team setting. It is also critical that managers demonstrate the behaviors they want their employees to mirror.

“The most successful collaboration initiatives solve real business problems, aiming to affect a KPI that links to an organization’s business goals” said Ms. Rozwell. To read Gartner’s full post click here.

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