How collaborative is your organisation?

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to listen in on a webinar delivered by Jacob Morgan called "How collaborative are you? - The five types of collaborative organisations" Unfortunately there were some technical issues at the start of the webinar, which mean I was thrown out of the webinar and missed the start of the webinar, where I presume Jacob provided the context as to why organisations should be looking to be more collaborative.

However it didn't really matter as the bulk of the webinar was a discussion of the five types of collaborative organisations, or perhaps more accurately the five stages of collaboration within organisations.

Jacob outline these as:

  1. Unaware
  2. Exploratory
  3. Defined
  4. Adoptive
  5. Adapative

Stage 1 - Unaware

  • This is the first stage in the collaboration process
  • An organisation at this stage will usually have no goals or objectives
  • Will not be aware of new technology
  • Will not have addressed governance or cultural challenges

Stage 2 - Exploratory

  • The second stage in the process
  • Organisations are starting to learn/educate themselves
  • They are looking at the company impact
  • They may be testing/playing with collaborative technologies
  • The organisation will also be thinking about the big picture

Stage 3 - Defined

  • The third stage of the process
  • Organisations will have put a strategy together
  • They will have selected a technology or technologies
  • They may also have defined metrics
  • A team will have been assembled
  • The organisation will have assessed any risks
  • Support will be in place

Stage 4 - Adoptive

  • The fourth stage of the process
  • At this stage technologies will have been deployed
  • Organisations will have benchmarked what they're trying to do
  • Policies and guidance will have been written
  • Community managers and evangelists will be in place
  • Collaborative processes will be integrated into the flow of work

Stage 5 - Adaptive

  • The final stage of the collaborative process
  • Organisations can regress backwards from this stage
  • Organisations have identified their successes and failures
  • The collaborative initiative has been well explained to users
  • New functions/roles have been developed
  • The collaborative technology has been integrated deeply
  • Areas of improvement/development have been assessed
  • The adoption strategy has been updated

And that was pretty much the essence of Jacob's presentation. There were however some interesting takeways which came out of the questions. I've captured these below.

It's important to make collaboration part of how employers work
The only certainty in life is uncertainty
Organisations that don't think about the future, have no future
I think this last statement is perhaps the most interesting and says much about how important it is for organisations to adopt collaborative technologies.