Sunday, October 4, 2015

How to Harness Cross-Functional Digital Collaboration

The most effective digital workplace is one where collaboration and sharing are the norms.

Business involvement is essential as markets are continuously developing. If a business does not adapt and evolve it will be disappearing soon. But how to evolve and adapt is the real question. The decision to evolve should always be based on the rolling a long term, but an ongoing strategy planning. Ideally, the business naturally forces evolvement organically, if not, then the senior management should be continuously reviewing their long-term strategies and have total awareness of their markets and how they are moving. Digital is all about hyperconnectivity, and digital collaboration needs to focus on harnessing cross-functional collaboration via iterative communication, robust processes, and management innovation.

Organizations and their people learn through their interactions with the environment: They act, observe the consequences of their action, make inferences about those consequences, and draw implications for future action. The process is adaptively rational. Keep the end in mind to solve a maze challenge backward from the center and outwards. Questioning the delivery before or after it's executed could be more effective than during execution/delivery - unless something new or unforeseen and game-changing is found during the execution, continuously try to improve/develop/change everything in a prioritized order as long as it creates more long-term value than it costs to achieve.

Engage employees in strategy understanding, and encourage creativity. Regarding the employee feelings and approval of the change/development If necessary, you need to challenge the status quo de facto standards. Employees are already paid to put their time, effort and skills at the company’s disposal which really should be enough. It would be intelligent to make sure that everyone involved clearly understands the current and future mission and situation (what), as well as the delivery plan/strategy (how/when) and the added value/benefits (why) of the change as it's a lot easier to do something if you know what to do, when, how and why. The purpose is the salt you put on groups for making them become teams. Other spices are interdependent jobs instead of independent work, individual and collective accountability and evaluation instead of a just individual. Creative collaboration via integrative diversity can overcome silos. Silos are inevitable in every structured organization. Silos are a method of containment and storage: bounded groups or insular tribes are evidence of silos, and silos are reservoirs for homogeneous thinking, limiting the organization's creativity and innovation. It is the responsibility of the leaders to initiate his or her team to break the silos to realize the common goals or strategy which are far more important than the personal and departmental goals. Fostering collaboration is the key to creating a seamless organization when in pursuit of a strategy.

Invite customers to provide feedback and involve in changes: When you have the vision and later the as-is then it's a lot easier to "see and connect the dots" to make a delivery plan/strategy, and perhaps even adjust/modify or change the vision and mission. As a business grows, your customers will evolve and their demands will change. Get in front of the change and talk to your customer base as they are the ones that will move if you do not. Assuming you are capable of thinking out of the box, looking at it from this advanced level of technology will challenge you, free your mind is a lot easier on what and where to change, when and at what cost/benefit. Starting with your current as-is situation will often limit or restraint you in thinking far enough out of the box.

The most effective digital workplace is one where collaboration and sharing are the norms. The least effective culture at fostering a digital workplace is traditional command and control environments. So digital technology such as enterprise social computing could be effective tools to break down a hierarchical culture, and businesses have to figure out a more efficient way of bringing people together to follow a vision, break down the silos, and build a highly collaborative and effective digital organization.


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