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The Science of Persuasion for Greater Collaboration

In my last blog,  A Perfect Collaboration According To The “Esquire Guy”,  I talked about the importance of who we collaborate with and how we collaborate with them.  Collaboration is leveraging sources of expertise to help in a decision making process. In some cases, you’re going to be in need of expertise that will come from a knowledge base or identified people.  In other cases, you’re going to be defined as the expert and your opinion will be counted on during the collaborative process.  Either way, you’re going to need to persuade the people you’re collaborating with.

If you’re heading up or part of a collaborative effort and you require expertise, you’ll need to persuade those experts to give up some of their time and put forth effort to support you in your endeavors.

On the other hand, if you’ve been identified as somebody with expertise there’s a good chance others in the collaborative group will have differing opinions and you’ll need to persuade them toward the validity of your advice.

In this short video “Secrets From the Science of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin, six universal principles or shortcuts are discussed.  Let’s take a look at these six principles and Read More »

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The True ROI of Collaboration

August 27, 2012 at 7:16 am PST

As INSEAD and UC Berkeley Professor Morten Hansen says, “The goal of collaboration is not collaboration itself, but great results.”[1]  Working with many of our customers, we’ve developed a framework for assessing the true ROI of collaboration, and it falls into three distinct categories:

  • Operational ROI allows you to assess how collaboration eliminates or avoid costs associated with running your business. You might cut travel, reduce infrastructure needs, lower bandwidth or energy costs, save on office space and so on. Collaboration tools can replace or reduce the need for many of these types of costs.
  • Productivity ROI refers to savings generated from more efficient processes, accelerated decision-making and reduced cycle times. Collaboration can lead to significant productivity gains in any number of ways, such as optimizing within lines of business or matching your organization’s expertise to opportunities early on.
  • Strategic ROI can be the hardest to measure, but perhaps the most transformative. This kind of ROI occurs when collaboration enables your business to take a giant leap forward in areas like enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty, accelerating innovation, introducing new business models or entering new markets. These types of changes can also reshape an industry in fundamental ways.

These three types of ROI sometime manifest themselves differently across Read More »

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Productivity Gains Through Culture, Visuality, and Collaboration (Part 2): The Importance of Organizational Culture and Leadership

In my previous post, I described the challenges senior management faces in scaling collaboration capabilities to address business needs and the way work is done today.

Electronic and whiteboard displays, lean practices, and collaboration tools by themselves are clearly not enough. Management needs to take a holistic approach to develop and integrate capabilities in three areas to address the challenge of capturing the next wave of productivity gains: culture and leadership, extended workplace visuality, and pervasive collaboration.

Organizational culture and leadership are probably the single most important factors in enabling gains in employee productivity and innovation that result from knowledge work. Morten Hansen, in his book Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results, provides an excellent perspective on what management can do to identify barriers to collaboration and design solutions to overcome them. Most of these barriers are cultural and particularly severe in large global corporations with multiple business units, complex matrix organizational structures, and operations that span multiple countries. Read More »

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Why Consensus is the Enemy of Collaboration

July 24, 2012 at 9:53 am PST

Increasing how well organizations collaborate is the business opportunity of the decade. But there is one toxic mindset that can inhibit collaboration’s potential: many individuals confuse collaboration with consensus.  Consensus is what makes everyone happy; collaboration is about achieving the best outcome.

As business leaders, it’s vital to recognize that consensus is the enemy of collaboration. Sometimes when we say collaboration, people believe it’s an opportunity to hold hands and sing “kumbaya” around the office campfire. I was deeply inspired by Morten Hansen’s book, Collaboration, in which Hansen stated so brilliantly: Read More »

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