This is my fifth blog in a multi-part series. In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment. In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you. In my third blog, I share how you can turn human interactions into business results. In my fourth blog, I discussed patterns of collaborative behaviors and how to leverage them to better support collaborators. In today’s blog, I discuss how you can get extraordinary results.
Collaboration, at its core, is people interacting with people. When building collaboration solutions, therefore, it’s essential to put people at the center. As we learned in our study of employees in the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, a blend of process, culture, workplace and technology solutions fosters the natural human interactions, rich dialogue and diverse perspectives at the heart of collaboration.
At Cisco, employees say that the outcomes achieved as a result of collaboration are “simply better.” So now is the time to not only reflect, but also to take action, as today’s technology era brings new dimensions to how we work together. We collaborate across time zones, cultures, personalities and behaviors. We collaborate using a multitude of devices, from smartphones and laptops to tablets and more. When organizations empower employees to engage and interact at a personal, human level, across this diverse landscape, they can achieve extraordinary results—such as Read More »
Tags: Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, collaboration, cwps, Organizational Network Analysis, technology
By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per person. As the consumption of mobile devices increases, so does the need for businesses to change the way they work to reap the benefits. Investment in IT is vital if businesses are to take full advantage of new ways of working – with the best tools and solutions to achieve high levels of workforce connectivity.
The increase in mobile devices creates a great opportunity for businesses. A workforce using mobile devices allows for flexible working practices and more freedom to work whenever, wherever, making the workforce better connected. 82% of visitors to the Cisco Jabber Hub say improved productivity is a direct result of a better connected workforce. Better connections mean quicker decisions are made, improving employee response rates and decision making speed.
Businesses need to address the IT challenges of created by mobility and invest in the most suitable solutions for their business. Unified Communication solutions like Cisco Jabber integrate voice, video, instant messaging, presence, voice messaging and conferencing capabilities. It allows staff to choose the most suitable tools for their needs. This means the workforce can be productive from anywhere, on any device. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, jabber, mobility, productivity, unified communications
WebRTC is the single largest technology change that is happening to the web today which will unleash a new wave of communications innovations. If you are a technologies or a business owner, WebRTC can really simplify how you develop and deploy future applications; it will also open new ways of communicating with your customers using data, voice, and video thru a web browser.
I encourage you to learn about Cisco CTO of Collaboration Laurent Philonenko’s personal insights on the readiness of WebRTC by reading his blog post in No Jitter .
This is my fourth blog in a multi-part series. In my first blog, I introduced insights from Cisco’s Collaboration Work Practice Study and how people value collaboration in the work environment. In my second blog, I discussed the importance of building trust-based relationships and networks to make collaboration work for you. In my third blog, I share how you can turn human interactions into business results. In today’s blog, I discuss patterns of collaborative behaviors and how to leverage them to better support collaborators.
Collaboration can happen at anytime. Some would describe it as chaotic. But interestingly enough, through all the collaborative interactions we observed, we saw patterns in the “chaos” -- patterns that did not just exist in organizational silos, nor were they simply associated with a job role or personality type. Throughout the day, people play a variety of roles and experience different types and modes of collaboration. They go from online to offline, in a virtual meeting to meeting over coffee, have an ad-hoc chat in the break-room and attend a global Cisco TelePresence meeting.
If we pay close attention to the behavior patterns of collaboration we can learn how to better support collaborators and create a more seamless experience. This is where process, technology and the physical and virtual workplace can complement the human behaviors that occur during collaboration.
Accelerating Collaboration through Catalysts and Connectors
“Not everyone is comfortable with collaborating virtually. [A catalyst’s] outreach encourages participation and makes the experience rich and meaningful.” -- Study Participant
In our study, we found that certain types of people play an essential role in not only Read More »
Tags: Cisco collaboration, Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, Cisco TelePresence, collaboration, culture, cwps, Organizational Network Analysis, technology
How to encourage people to do what they say they’re going to do.
Trust is weaved into almost every aspect of our lives. I trusted that my car would get me to the airport this morning, that the pilots and crew would get me to Washington D.C., and that my cab driver would find my hotel. This all comes so naturally. So why does the role of trust in collaboration inside organizations remain such a mystery?
For more than 150 years, organizations have been organized in silos that breed internal competition for resources. The psychology of competing with your teammates for resources, in turn, encouraged an insidious way of working: passive-aggressive behaviors where humans work side-by-side but work subtly against each other even though they are employed by the same firm.
Trust anchors every successful collaborative team.
We researched at Cisco the most important factors in creating trust on collaboration teams, and the single most important factor is revealing: do people do what they say they are going to do?
As leaders, it is up to us to be overtly aggressive at vanquishing passive-aggressive behaviors and building real, human trust. We have no choice in our hyper-connected world where change is constant and work is increasingly global, mobile and virtual. As distance and time condense, it stresses out the calmest of us as we scramble to meet deadlines while working with people that likely we’ve never met.
So what’s the key to building team trust?
“Replace uncertainty with clarity. Articulate the team’s purpose and establish up front what you expect from each member.” The Collaboration Imperative
How to build a team charter
A team charter helps clarify a team’s purpose, role, shared goals and scope; a charter eliminates ambiguity of expectations. As leaders, we can make a team charter the focal point around which the team builds healthy collaboration habits.
It’s possible to move beyond your gut feel and hope trust develops on your team; it is possible to operationalize it. Trust is too important to, well, just trust that it’ll happen. To that end, we’ve found that a team charter is most effective when it is composed of five elements:
- Team purpose: describes specific challenges, opportunities or tasks the team will address (and also expectations).
- Team role: teams form for different reasons. Know why your team exists – is it to align a group around an initiative? Is it to execute a priority together? What are the different roles of individuals on the team? Read more about various team roles in Chapter 5 of “The Collaboration Imperative”.
- Shared goals: most collaborative teams have people from different backgrounds, functions and even companies. Make sure despite your differences, you’re all chasing the same goals. These goals allow you to create a specific definition of what success looks like and allow you to map your goals to performance management
- Scope: establish well-defined boundaries of what you hope to do. These “guardrails” allow you to say no to ‘scope creep’! This helps members determine their time commitment and helps the team as a whole stay on track.
- Establish ground rules. Put ground rules in place for team procedures and processes (including meeting logistics), how you use your time together, who makes final decisions, how to resolve conflict, and how respect and courtesy are paramount.
A team charter is a powerful means to enable trust-building on your collaboration teams. Keep in mind that a team charter should be paired with a common vocabulary. Sweat the details of your team’s vocabulary. Ask if everyone on the team has the same definitions in their heads for the vocabulary you are using to articulate the charter. Don’t let the definition of a word be the reason trust is derailed!
The management science is pretty clear here: teams that trust each other outperform teams that don’t. Are you outperforming?
Tags: collaboration, Organisational Culture, team charter, The Collaboration Imperative, trust