I meet many organizations, especially C-levels in these organizations, who say they want to perform the collaborative transformation of their organization. What do they mean? Well, you know, publishing, sharing, social work, responsability, freedom of initiative, all this stuff.


But when it comes to reality, to performing the collaborative transformation, they’re often challenged because here’s what we/they definitely need to manage the collaborative transformation of their organization:

A truly committed decision-maker: someone with the power to decide because innovation rarely comes with consensus. Someone who will change the way he works and shares what he does and thinks, day after day. Someone who will really try and let his collaborators take initiatives.

A specific topic (thanks to Sylvie Roth for this one): if you say « let’s deploy a social network to make our company more collaborative », you’re giving a hammer to people who don’t need to hammer any nail. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But if the hammer comes in addition to your existing toolbox, then it’s just another tool that you have to cope with.
So what you need to help people enrich their professional life and be more productive as well is to get interested in their existing job first. Then target a specific need, some usage that obviously could be better done another way. And then you can re-think this usage: will it be more productive by using Google+ or sticky notes? You don’t know until you truly seek simplification.

A reflex: share by default, restrict by exception. Which is the exact opposite of what we learned in our Western educations. It is like switching from My Documents- to Wikipedia-style.
My Documents: « I » + classify + copy-paste.
Wikipedia: « We » + search + links. Links help everyone be sure that what they’re looking at is the only source. So there’s a good chance there isn’t a more up-to-date version of the same content somewhere else.
This is what I learned from almost 10 years of working in the collaborative transformation business. What do you think? Does this ring any bell? Do you think it’s not always this way?

I’m the founder and CEO of Digital Collab. We think our mission is to help organizations switch over to the new civilization that comes. We do that by transforming the way people work to let them benefit from what the web has taught us and that Evan Williams says this way: « it seems like when you give people easier ways to share information, more good things happen. »

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