Here is my third prediction regarding the future of collaboration:Prediction #1.Prediction #2.Prediction #4.Prediction #5.Prediction 3: Innovation will be redefined by Operational ExcellenceThere is a long-standing debate about what drives long term success: Is it innovation OR Operational Excellence? Traditionally we viewed this as an either-or proposition, and most companies have taken pride in being really good at one or the other.What we hear from most CEOs, CTOs and CIOs is that we need to do both — especially during the current economic downturn. We no longer have the luxury of choosing one vs. the other.Collaboration is a critical element that allows enterprises to combine operational excellence and innovation. Case in point: At Cisco we now have 28 corporate priorities we are driving, many of which we believe will turn into billion dollar growth opportunities for the company. It’s inconceivable to try to innovate on 28 priorities without having operational discipline and metrics to manage that.The way we combine the two at Cisco is by collaborating on a global basis ― via segment councils, cross functional boards and expert working groups. Again, collaboration allows us to connect people, information and communities.We take the view that our ideas get stronger when they’re shared. The quality and speed of decision-making improves dramatically when people with diverse view points and expertise come together rapidly with shared goals.We are all facing constraints in CapEx and OpEx spending. We all face reduced budgets and the need to do more with less. In this environment, Collaboration is going to redefine the relationship between innovation and operational excellence.