Archive | creating success

Collaboration: your path to Sustainable Competitive Advantage?

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”Helen Keller

Web apps and the internet have changed the way we work and live. Today we live in a world where the creative quality of work improves as we move along the “Hierarchy of Communication” from Connect to Communicate to Collaborate to Co-create.

Where would you place your organization on the following 4Cs Hierarchy of Communication?

1) Connect: is all about connecting and being able to connect with others. Connecting with those that you know and those you don’t yet know. Today this has never been easier, simply click to connect, without leaving your office and often without leaving your application. A ‘presence’ indicator lets you know who is there on-line and in your virtual neighbourhood right now.

2) Communicate: Once you have connected you want to communicate. Speaking with the other person now includes speaking with many other people through online virtual meetings. Communicating now includes: chatting, speaking, texting, sharing documents and sharing screens to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas.

3) Collaborate: you communicate so that you can collaborate. There are lots of different collaboration tools, applications and platforms available today that enable us to collaborate effectively across multiple boundaries: organisational, geographical and time zones. Examples vary widely: Skype, TeamViewer, Lync, Office365, Google Apps and Webex to name a few. All allowing you to share, review and contribute to a common project and collaborate together with others.

4) Co-create: you collaborate so that you can create. The desired outcome of collaboration is to create new ways to solve old problems and invent new ways to capture future opportunities. We brainstorm using rich media to engage the collective brain of the virtual community. We build ideas based on human interaction. We invent, create, develop new or better ideas and ways to achieve specific goals and objectives. And we build virtual teams that can deliver continuous creativity which will ultimately lead to sustainable competitive advantage.

Sustainable Competitive Advantage: The ultimate goal of co-creating (and therefore collaborating, communicating and connecting) is to maximise the quality and quantity of your business goals. Sustainable competitive advantage is the sum total of your organisation’s current abilities and future capabilities. By enabling your people to connect, communicate, collaborate and co-create they will produce exceptional solutions to today’s problems and create wonderfully innovative ways to develop future opportunities.

Takeaway:

People, Processes or Platform? The challenge isn’t the technology it’s you and your people. The challenge is moving your people along the 4Cs Hierarchy of Communication. So they become more collaborative and adopt and use collaborative applications and tools in their everyday work. You need to set an example by demonstrating an ‘inclusive mindset’ and a bias towards working collaboratively. The cultural change required of your company will be far more difficult than the technological changes.

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”General Eric Shineseki, Retired Chief of Staff, U.S. Army

Are you ready for the new reality?

View: Collaborating in the Cloud: Opportunity or Threat? by David Ednie, posted on slideshare.

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Managing Your Mindset. Your #1 Challenge in 2009

Woody Allen said “80 percent of success is showing up.”
Thinking about it, this is very practical advice, and for people in sales a good rule to live by. You can’t influence, persuade, or sell yourself or your ideas if you aren’t sitting in front of the person you need to influence. Now ask yourself this.

How often have you chosen to simply send an email or make a phone call rather than holding to a face-to-face meeting?

Essentially you are choosing between sending your message vs personally delivering your message. Using email and the phone is easier for sure. However, it is also easier for the other person to choose to ignore, misunderstand or fail to take the desired action in response to your message. Less investment in time and effort equates to less commitment to influence. So, showing up wins? Yes, no contest. But, I think that there is a critical and unstated assumption here. Let me explain. Showing up, how and in what state of mind? Showing up when you are unprepared, uncommitted, de-motivated, tired, or sick means that we may have been better off sending an email or making a phone call. Showing up when you are well prepared: having a plan, being fully committed and having a positive mental attitude is what will deliver success. Continue Reading →

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