Collaboration

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Social Media is Here to Stay, Is Your Company Ready? Great Teamwork Begins with a Social Contract. Today’s workplace is in the midst of a massive shift.

Great Teamwork Begins with a Social Contract

The recent advancements in business technology allowing remote teams to work together, and the ever increasing telecommuting effect makes this an exciting time to live and work in. Despite all these changes, one challenge has always plagued managers: how can I create a positive, effective teamwork? Team norms exist whether openly stated or not. Positive or negative, it impacts a team’s ability to function. The task of molding groups of employees into powerful teams is no easy task. The social contracts Riordan and O’Brien mention are a far cry of the “set in stone” variety that most are probably familiar with.

One of the benefits of creating a team social contract is that it eliminates a lot of the uncertainty that exists within most teams. Now if you’re thinking to yourself “this is great, but I’m still unsure how to get these contracts to work for my team.” Image Source: www.iStockphoto.com Related. Three Truths about Business Collaboration. Like most companies these days, Mindjet uses a variety of collaboration tools to get things done.

Three Truths about Business Collaboration

In an effort to better understand the inner workings of those processes, I sat down with the users themselves – real Mindjet employees — and asked for feedback. Here are three truths that our round table yielded: 1. Collaboration is Not All or Nothing One of the most common mistakes is thinking that collaboration is an all or nothing deal. Instead, the general consensus was that these tools are more effective when used in smaller groups. “The bigger the group, the more important it becomes to have meetings,” said Robin Cangie, Marketing Programs Manager. 2. It is often said that collaboration is about the right tool for the right job, so it made sense to learn that the usage of each tool varied widely by department.

Anna Li, Marketing Manager, agreed. 3. Tricky Business In the end, collaboration is about people — not technologies. Related. 4 Tips To Create A Collaborative Culture. Between growing workplace diversity (see this month’s e-book), geographical dispersion, and organization changes getting individuals to collaborate is no small feat.

4 Tips To Create A Collaborative Culture

Research shows that employees view collaboration as an essential element to accomplish their daily work. Yet despite this common agreement, productive collaboration manages to elude most organizations. As I’ve previously discussed, just because you have purchased collaboration tools does not mean that collaboration will occur. It’s difficult to motivate people to want to change their habits. I know that I hate it when my morning routine is altered, even if it’s on a small scale. Successful collaboration stems from instituting a collaborative culture – there, I’ve said it. Set Group Expectations Most managers are very good at setting individual expectations. Define Collaborative Behavior Once expectations have been set, it’s important to then outline what it is you’re looking for.

Embrace Team Diversity Related. Enterprise Collaboration Take Two: Social Task Management. Back when it seemed like every business was drinking Facebook’s Kool-Aid, I heard a really compelling argument for modeling collaboration software after Mark Zuckerberg’s baby: it essentially eliminated the learning curve.

Enterprise Collaboration Take Two: Social Task Management

It makes sense, right? Integrating new platforms into existing workflows has earned a pretty crappy reputation over the years. Deployment is complicated, it takes time and money to train people, and not everyone adjusts at the same rate. But mimic a channel that hundreds of millions of people are already familiar with, throw in a freemium to premium option, and boom. No such roadblocks. Jam-packed with activity streams, micro-messaging, file sharing and a load of other capabilities, the cloud-based and socially-enabled enterprise applications of the last few years have exhibited this logic with zany fervor.

No More Free-for-All Communication These days we don’t hear as much about the “corporate Facebook” approach. Enter the power of social task management. Related. It's High Time to Socialize the C-Suite. When we think about leaders, their behavior and how that behavior influences the world around them is oftentimes on the forefront.

It's High Time to Socialize the C-Suite

And it is for this reason that, when it comes to business, executive presence in both the internal and external social realm is increasingly critical to socially-enabled enterprise success. If your organization’s governing body isn’t hip to such multi-platform participation, you’re in a lot of company. In 2010, Weber Shandwick released a study on the state of leadership reputation (Socializing Your CEO: from (Un) Social to Social), stating that 64% of the surveyed CEOs did not engage through company websites or social media outlets. “There are several reasons why CEOs are not more Social,” wrote Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist. ”Time is better spent with customers and employees…the return on investment has not yet been proven, legal counsel tends to caution against it and anything that smacks of ‘celebrity CEO’ is a no-win.”

Unifying 4 Generations of Work Styles, Struggles & Solutions. Here at the end of our generational journey, we’ve absolutely zero big bang systemic solutions to offer.

Unifying 4 Generations of Work Styles, Struggles & Solutions

But fear not! There’s a helpful and very human lesson or two to be learned from looking at each group: Understand, Communicate, Trust Plenty of differences are obvious from the start, but often it’s the details impressed on us by the environments we grew up in — each different from the one we’ve come to collectively share – that have the most impact on the way we conduct ourselves. It’s common for people to automatically attribute judgments to these differences because they are unfamiliar, and so it is by shedding light on them that we can promote understanding, and begin to guide more efficient and cohesive workforce teams.

Once we have understanding in place, we can turn focus to communication. Finally, it is without a doubt that we all place confidence in is trust. Promote the Individual, Affect Change Related. The Single Largest Collaboration-Killing Mistake You’re Unaware Of. There’s a lot of talk about how to get the most out of teams today. Do you define strict roles for each team member? Is it all about outlining the approach? Do you let teams naturally work to achieve it? How much structure is too much when it comes to collaboration? Turns out, according to Tammy Erickson’s Harvard Business Review article, the common assumptions team leaders make when it comes to trying to inspire collaboration may actually be killing it. Traditionally, when teams set out on a project they are handed a detailed approach by their leader. Instead of this “traditional” view of team projects, Erickson suggests that team leaders should take a new approach.

“research has shown that … collaboration improves when the roles of individual team members are clearly defined and well understood – in fact, when individuals feel their role is bounded in ways that allow them to do a significant portion of their work independently. Image Source: www.iStockphoto.com Related. Why CEOs Should Allow Facebook in the Workplace [INFOGRAPHIC] Online Project Management. 29 Ways To Stay Creative [Video]

Guidance - facilitation, ideation, etc. Solving problems (vs. identifying them) Often, we're hesitant to identify a problem out of fear we can't solve it.

Solving problems (vs. identifying them)

Knowing that we have to live with something that we're unable to alter gives us a good reason to avoid verbalizing it--highlighting it just makes it worse. While this sort of denial might be okay for individuals (emphasis on might), it's a lousy approach for organizations of any size. That's because there are almost certainly resources available that can solve a problem if you decide it's truly worth solving. Put yourself and your people on a path to finding problems without regard for whether or not they are capable of solving them. Queue them up, prioritize them and then go find the help your organization needs to solve them. Just because you don't know what to do about it doesn't make it less of a problem. Humility key to effective leadership. Public release date: 8-Dec-2011 [ Print | E-mail Share ] [ Close Window ] Contact: Jacqueline Ghosenghosen@buffalo.edu 716-645-2833University at Buffalo BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Humble leaders are more effective and better liked, according to a study forthcoming in the Academy of Management Journal.

Humility key to effective leadership

"Leaders of all ranks view admitting mistakes, spotlighting follower strengths and modeling teachability as being at the core of humble leadership," says Bradley Owens, assistant professor of organization and human resources at the University at Buffalo School of Management. "And they view these three behaviors as being powerful predictors of their own as well as the organization's growth. " Although the leaders were from vastly different organizations -- military, manufacturing, health care, financial services, retailing and religious -- they all agreed that the essence of leader humility involves modeling to followers how to grow. Owens and Hekman offer straightforward advice to leaders. Social Task Management Best Practices. You’ve finally got that invite to tryout Do.com, or maybe you’ve recently signed up for Asana, or shelled out some cash for Basecamp, now that you have gotten your hands on some of this awesome social task management software you’re probably wondering how to get the most out of it.

Social Task Management Best Practices

If this is you, and let’s faces it we’ve all been here at point at one time or another, then you’re in luck. Today, I’d like to offer up several social project management best practices that I’ve learned while using Mindjet’s Cohuman task management software. Less is Not More When using project management software it’s crucial to be specific. Like a foreign language, immersion is key for success The true benefit of any software, not just social project management software, is to get mass adoption. Be as Transparent as Possible The whole goal of social project management tools is to help all involved know what’s going on around a project in near real-time.

Your Turn Image Source: www.iStockphoto.com Related. How to Make Your Company More Social. Mae Karwowski runs social media strategy and oversees community management at Gilt City, a subsidiary of the Gilt Groupe.

How to Make Your Company More Social

She also consults for several startups. Social networks are flooded with potential customers. Therefore, today's companies need to foster a socially engaged culture within company walls. A business becomes more inherently social by going beyond the corporate Twitter account and Facebook Page. A social business engages the entire company, from CEO to executive assistant. 1. It's hard to get people to tweet consistently when they don't understand what an @mention is. Have everyone bring laptops and phones to the session to keep it interactive. 2. Show your employees how to use a hashtag that they can relate to. Provide examples that demonstrate how Twitter can organize information and news for just about any job or industry. 3. Chances are you already have several employees that love social media, whether they're Pinterest fanatics or live tweet their entire weekends.

6 tips for avoiding staff burnout. With the landscape of healthcare changing, IT departments are finding themselves as busy as ever. And with the stress of mandates and new technologies also come the risk of staff burnout, dissatisfaction, and even the loss of human resources. “Everything that’s happening right now inside the healthcare arena -- it’s a tough area, not only inside of the payer and provider environment, but also in the service organizations,” said Guillermo Moreno, vice president of Experis Healthcare. “The pace of this is really, really intense, and everyone’s running at 1,000 miles an hour to get things done. Organizations are trying to be aggressive to maximize time, effort, and energy to achieve not only their business goals, but in some instances, meaningful use and to capitalize on those dollars as quickly as they can.”

Given the hectic state of the industry and the growing demands placed on IT staff, we asked Moreno to outline six tips for avoiding staff burnout. 1. 2. 3. Continued on the next page. Collaboration & team productivity. 5 Pitfalls of Collaboration. Most people start collaboration projects with the best intentions, yet despite this the majority of these projects fail. How come? Why is it so rare to actually have successful collaboration?

It’s dangerous. Why is it so rare to actually have successful collaboration? As Nilofer Merchant points out in her Harvard Business Review post that there exists collaboration pitfalls that even the best collaborators may fall victim to. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Collaboration is not right for every organization, or in every situation. Your Turn Have any other collaboration pitfall falls of your own that we should look out for? Related. Eight Dangers of Collaboration. By Nilofer Merchant | 8:16 AM December 1, 2011 Most of what is written about collaboration is positive. Even hip. Collaboration is championed enthusiastically by the Enterprise 2.0 experts, as well as leading thinkers like Don Tapscott, as the crucial approach for the 21st century.

Collaboration creates once-elusive “buy-in or “empowerment,” improves problem solving, increases creativity, is key to innovation at companies like Lego, Pixar, and Intuit. It slashes costs and improves productivity. So why is collaboration as rare as it is? The short answer is that collaboration is dangerous. Not knowing the answer.

Collaborative work is not right for every organization, or in every case. According to recent research, collaboration has been proven to have a strong corollary to innovation; .81, according to research commissioned by Google.) But, let’s recognize, we can’t manage collaboration well until we acknowledge that it’s fundamentally dangerous. Are Teams Really That Much Better? Teamwork. We’re all taught that teamwork can bring about greater results, more creativity, and an all-around better end product. Yet, despite having to work in teams from the time we’re in school through the vast majority of our lives, I have often thought to myself are teams really that much better?

Yes, I believe that Teamwork can help you achieve superior results, but it’s not an innate outcome. Teamwork is a Learned Skill We assume because humans are inherently social beings that we should be able to work effectively as a team, this isn’t true. Who will end of doing the majority of the work? However, the more we collaborate and work in teams the more we either learn how to cope with these issues. Image Source: www.iStockphoto.com Related. Teamwork or Collaboration? What’s the Difference? Why Teamwork is Overrated. Building the Collaborative Office. Engineering an Encouraging Environment.

Your Desk Job Makes You Fat, Sick and Dead [INFOGRAPHIC] Collaborative Workspace. Study suggests flexible workplaces promote better health behavior and well-being. A Showcase of Minimal Workstations to Inspire You. Cohuman - work more efficiently. Creating the Office Space of the Future. The State of Social Collaboration. Five Myths of Collaboration. Collaboration: It’s all about the People, Stupid. Generation X: Navigating the Challenges. How to Make Social Media Collaboration Deliver. The Social Business Paradox. Driving Collaboration in Firms. Collaboration Trends in 2012. Which Type of Collaboration is Right for You? Email is overrated. 3 Ways to Mess Up Enterprise Social.

The 5 Laws of Social Project Mgmt. Enhancing Collaborative Distance Learning through Wiki and Cognitiv... Do Companies Need a Chief Collaboration Officer? Who Said Online Collaboration Was Easy? What is Collaboration and How Do We Achieve it? Debunk Myths About Innovation. 4 Tools for Better Agency-Client Collaboration.