ReadWriteCloud recently wrote about this infographic on the history of collaboration in the enterprise from Socialcast. It starts out with a quote from Charles Darwin and navigates the history of collaboration, ending up with 10 common forms of wasted effort in collaboration – concepts our customers often come to us looking to improve. I started thinking about how collaboration can improve in the enterprise.
Most people might respond with words like i) shared vision, ii) greater innovation, ii) decreased cycle times and reduced costs of activities – whether it be infrastructure development costs or any particular domain around which the collaboration is occurring. These are important, for sure, and they are foundational to what drives our business with our customers.
As important, I believe, is the collective intelligence that happens when you can create passion, a transparent pooling of interests around a shared topic of interest. In my view, this absolutely drives better teamwork and understanding, and accountability of the employees and team for each other internal to the enterprise. Collaboration drives employee hiring and retention (just look at the way Subversion and Agile methodology draws employees into the company, and how collaborating in our development environment (namely TeamForge) keeps remote employees retained and energized.
This extends outside the company as well, driving client satisfaction and involvement in the corporate processes – e.g., product feedback, code contributions, and involvement in the roadmap – what a barrier to competition! For example, once a customer feels engaged with us, and actually contributes to our roadmap and vision, the ability for a competitor to dislodge them from CollabNet (or the enterprise) is almost impossible.
What are your thoughts? How can collaboration improve in the enterprise?