Tuesday 11 March 2008

Collaboration some thoughts on user buy in.

I am sure I am not alone in having a user community who think that collaboration is a "good thing" and react positively to being introduced to the newest bit of collaborative technology. People see the business benefits of wider, freer and more accessible information However a throw away comment today "... anything that makes my job easier..." made me pause for thought.

In hindsight I should have responded to this but at the time I was aglow with the success of the meeting. My response would have been that yes, it would make your job easier but that is only a small part of the equation. It makes is easier for you, your team, your managers and all those who interact with you. It is that wider inclusivity of knowledge that is most important.

I have a feeling (and freely admit I have no evidence to back this up) that a lot of people work to the axiom that "what is yours is mine and what is mine is my own, my knowledge is my power and I am more that happy to share yours, just don't expect me to share that much of mine."

We in the blog world share what we can in the hope that it will help someone, somewhere. That is the mindset I would like to get across to the those that wait for the benefits to appear as if by magic ... and I have not quite figured that bit out yet.

I have a users groups that have jumped in feet first, using first Team Rooms then Quickr. They shared and are sharing their expertise without fear or favour and they have reaped the expected benefits as their teams perform better in their interactions with themselves, their supply chains and customers both internal and external.

I get the impression those that don't completely buy would if pushed would say "...well thats OK for the Whatever-Team but we have to work in a different way." ... my question to them is ... why?

No amount of evangelizing or examples of success stories seem to convince beyond the "that's good" response. Now we have a Big Blue that is really responsive to our ideas, exciting new horizons are opening and I now need more than ever a way to convince the people who are slow on the uptake.

If I work that out .. I suppose that you should expect me to share it ;)



Nate said...

Well, as I've been publicly told, my arrogance knows no bounds -- so take this with a heaping tablespoon of salt -- but...

I would bait someone into saying that at the next meeting. And very clearly and very loudly I would say "STOP!" to the whole room in general. And I would look that person deep in their eyes and say "anything that makes your life easier? Anything that makes YOUR life easier!??!?! Are you the raison d'etre for this enterprise? I think not. I believe our entire purpose for being in this room today is to figure out what makes EVERYONE'S life easier, and if that demands a wee bit of extra effort from you, then by god you'll deliver. Or you'll hand in your resignation. Because neither you, nor I, nor anyone from the mail clerk to the chairman of the board is the *I* in team. So next time you think of uttering that phrase, look deep inside yourself before you say it, because losers always whine about making their lives easier. Winners do what it takes to make their team successful."

Of course, I'd only say that to someone who's boss was in the room. If it were the CEO who said that, I'd tone it down to "excuse me, sir.... don't you mean anything that makes the company more successful?" and let him stumble from there.

But then, I've been fired from more than one job. ;-)

mcdonaghs@utvinternet.com said...

Nate I think i may well not go quite that far :-) Im too old to be excited by plunging into the job markeet ;-)

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