Strategy for a collaborative organisation – do you have one?

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Stories of the failure of enterprise social networks abound. Indeed, research backs up those stories – in 2013 Gartner concluded that Strategy80 percent of enterprise social networks will not achieve their intended benefit.

Yet, the success of Facebook in the virtual world would suggest that when the real world can be successfully emulated online, the benefits of real world interaction are significantly amplified because of the scope and reach of the virtual world.

Deloitte Access Economics in Australia put a value on the benefit of unlocking the power of the workplace crowd in Oz at $46 billion per year. But they went further, finding that companies that prioritise collaboration are five times more likely to “increase in employment, twice as likely to be profitable, and twice as likely to outgrow competitors”.

Deloitte also found that half of all businesses have no collaboration strategy and that, of the 24 percent who did have a strategy in place, it was important for their business. Indeed, they found that only 20 percent of the companies without a collaboration strategy outgrew the market in comparison to 52 percent of companies with such a strategy in place.

Their research revealed a strong correlation between collaboration and performance. “Those that actively encourage collaboration do better. And not by a little, but by a lot.” Furthermore, “Collaboration, driven by a clear strategy, brings revenue growth, more profit, greater employee satisfaction, higher productivity, improved product quality and innovation.”

And so should you drop what you’re doing and install a corporate social network tomorrow? No, don’t leave it to ‘chance’!

Underpinning successful adoption of a collaborative platform is having a strategy in place that ensures there is alignment of a company’s people, processes and platform to its purpose.

Was Hewlett Packard an optimally collaborative organisation under the leadership of its CEO, Lew Platt? I suspect not given his oft quoted lament after resigning from HP: “If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three-times more productive.”

Lew Platt was implicitly acknowledging that a collaborative organisation unlocks the potential, capacity and knowledge of its people to generate value, innovation and improve productivity. Deloitte Access Economics does us the favour of proving the linkage!

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