Cisco Blogs

Collaboration: The business opportunity of the decade

January 31, 2012 - 4 Comments

It’s clear from our conversations with customers around the world that we’re in the early stages of a fundamental shift in business. It’s the decade of collaboration. A time of flash communities and knowledge accidents. A time when video, virtualization, social media and mobility influence everything we do. And when employees from any remote corner of an organization can provide the spark for your next important innovation.

But only if you set the stage for collaboration.

Building a collaborative organization isn’t easy. It takes a transformative approach to culture, processes and technology—and an unwavering commitment from top to bottom. Do it and you will be rewarded with an energized organization that can adapt quickly to changing markets and deliver tangible results.

That’s why I recently partnered with my colleague, Ron Ricci, Cisco’s VP of Corporate Positioning, to write The Collaboration Imperative, a book that dives into the culture, process and technology dimensions of successful collaboration. It offers practical tips and strategies for making companies more collaborative and looks at how some of the world’s leading companies are sharpening their collaboration edge.

We also introduce some surprising facts. For example, did you know that….

  • The biggest barriers to collaboration are not technical—they are cultural and organizational in nature
  • Collaboration can’t be deployed; it must be embraced
  • It’s not enough to change roles; you have to change rewards
  • Collaboration requires stronger personal communications skills
  • Although collaboration is about decentralizing, it has to start at the top
  •  The average return on collaboration is four times a company’s initial investment

We’d love to hear your experiences as you embrace collaboration. What best practices are you most proud of? What issues are you facing? And what lessons have you learned that you want to share? Let’s keep the conversation going….

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  1. I agree with most of it. I believe that collaboration is initiated by the employees instead of the top. Personal use of instant messaging, twitter, Skype, etc. fuels the use of it in organizations. The top should embrace it and enable it. But many of them have a long way to go. Those who will adapt now, will be the winners of tomorrow.

  2. What a great topic. Collaboration is at the core of the culture of our company. It is at the center of our work. We collaborate with our clients, then with each other, then clients with their markets and so on. I have to agree with one of your statements… Collaboration has to start at the top. I am founder and a managing partner and for me to incorporate the realization of collaboration into our company culture, I had to step out of my comfort zone and begin to implement practices in-house that required collaboration laterally!

    • Orhan,

      Thanks for the note and I am happy to see you as an executive understand your role in Collaboration. Execs can not be on the sidelines for this. The opportunity is to large to ignore.

  3. My favorite thing about collaboration is working with people from around the world.