Lotus Connections is billed as a tool to help an organisation collaborate more effectively, but what exactly does an organisation that collaborates more effectively look like and how does it differ from the organisation that we currently have? The answers to these questions can help make your social network more effective.
I believe the answer to the question is it depends. It depends on the type of organisation you are and the collaboration obstacles that your organisation has. Collaboration is relatively easy when your organisation has a single office, but as organisations become more complex they begin to experience collaboration difficulties.
For example, we have a client that has offices in every continent, with departments that span multiple geographies. With offshoring (or right shoring), this structure is becoming more common but it adds to the challenges of collaboration. In a worst scenario, each of these offices become “silos” of collaboration, where collaborative efforts connect an individual region but collaboration does not cross regions. Real collaboration tends to happen “across the desk” rather than across the ocean and as a consequence the teams can become largely separated, only joined by the management communications that flow down from above.
Lotus Connections is obviously a tool that can address this, by providing common spaces for communication, it allows your employees to communicate more freely with their peers in different regions, but how do you know that it is working?
The answer is to investigate the collaboration that is actually happening. How are the your employees collaborating? Are they collaborating across their boundaries or outside of their teams? The more that this happens the more effective the social network, but without actively measuring it the tool may only be reinforcing existing collaboration patterns.
Future posts will detail exactly how this type of collaboration can be measured, so stay tuned!