Collaboration For Innovation: Why Can’t We All Work Together?

A recent article on ComputerWeekly.com noted that 80% of CIOs are increasing their investments in collaboration tools.  At the same time, many organizations are struggling with restrictions on which tools may be used.

For corporation innovation initiatives, this is an important issue.  Building a strong culture of collaboration is vital to fostering productive innovation.  To help build a healthy, sustainable innovation ecosystem in the enterprise employees must be provided with an environment that equips them with the proper skills, tools, and knowledge resources to improve their effectiveness.  Included in this support must be a practical framework for collaboration around innovation.

Too often, companies tend to build organizational silos that cut workers off from key information and from each other.  This is anathema to innovation.

Innovation thrives when knowledge flows through the enterprise to the workers that need it.  This knowledge is often not documented, residing in the minds of the workers.  This is why it is essential to enable the connection of people to people based on what they know.  The right collaboration framework can help make this happen.

Conversely, the wrong framework can create frustration as workers feel it is difficult to connect and share knowledge and leverage that knowledge in their work.  Many employees find that tools are not compatible and that it is difficult to capture their collaborative exchanges in a meaningful way that can leveraged.

A good collaboration framework is one that enables employees to connect without the need to leave the context of their innovation work.  The framework should make it easy to integrate the discussion into the innovation process and capture the tacit knowledge of the enterprise for reuse.  It must be simple for workers to engage with one another if you are truly going to unlock the value of the organization’s tribal wisdom.

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