I spend a lot of time talking to organizations about collaboration and engagement. I always find it a little strange that I’m effectively giving people guidance in communication, something that everyone does constantly in their personal lives. For whatever reason, people tend to consider communication in a business setting to be different than communicating in a personal setting, and organizations are seeking help to make sure communication happens. Recently on HBR an interesting post suggested that companies need to appoint someone to ensure that collaboration occurs, a Chief Collaboration Officer if you will.
Indulge me for a moment as I set out the case for collaboration and why it is more important today than ever before. A recurring theme of late is that organizations are increasingly moving to a more decentralized makeup – with distributed offices, remote workers, and more emphasis on project-based work. If you accept this contention, then the flip side of this change is an increase in barriers to effective communication, information silos, workers in different regions and timezones, and multiple project teams all lead to a breakdown in the efficacy of cross-organization communications.