Collaboration is one of the most often discussed and often-misunderstood business issues of our time.
Nearly all leading businesses today endorse the value of high-performance teams doing collaborative work, but there are many differing concepts, opinions and bewilderments about what that really means. Many organizations are now actively pursuing and promoting more collaborative work while trying to force-fit evolving processes into existing workplaces. Like Cinderella’s slipper on the wrong foot, it’s an uncomfortable compromise. But most find themselves at a loss for what to alter. So they carve out more conference rooms, add a coffee station or seating in passageways, and call it good.
Today, as the social implications of a multi-generational workforce converge with the informational implications of new technology tools, a new view of collaboration is emerging. Most work today is done in collaboration with others versus individually. Collaboration is not a segmented activity done in designated destinations such as a conference room, collaboration is now almost constant and it threads throughout the entire workday. It occurs at desks, in hallways, in team spaces, on smart phones and via the Internet, and it’s often spontaneous and informal versus planned in advance. When the workspace is designed to fully support the new realities of collaboration, better learning, more innovation and faster decision-making can result.