Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Collaborative Socialutions . . . Where Does Collaboration Fit In?

The social web seems to attract a lot of definitional redefining, whether by adding numbers after a term like Collaboration 2.0, Business 3.0, or Office 4.0, or by combining two previously independent words into one as we have with Socialutions. These attempts at redefining can be useful, but they have a tendency to confuse.

Collaboration intuitively has a place in Socialutions, but where exactly does it fit?

Socialutions, which is not yet listed in Dictionary.com, is defined as people, communities and organizations leveraging technology to interact with people for the purpose of solving problems; the act of working together with others to create new solutions to old paradigms of communications and interaction without boundaries and with limitless reach.

Collaboration, which does appear in Dictionary.com, is defined as the act or process of working, one with another; cooperating, colluding, joining, assisting, or abetting.

Collaboration then, fits with Socialutions in the implementation – when we are working together with others to create new solutions, we are collaborating!

Tapscott and Williams, in their book Wikinomics, identified four steps to developing a collaborative culture.

• Encourage and reward openness in networking for all members of the organization.

• Create peering environments that foster self-organizing human connections for collaboration and innovation.

• Allow radical sharing to expand markets and create new opportunities.

• Think and Act globally as an individual, team and organization.

To achieve Openness means ensuring a culture of candor, flexibility, transparency and access. How many of today’s workplaces can accurately be described by these words?

Peering is also important in the establishment of a collaborative culture. Peering succeeds because it leverages self-organization.

As any business model demonstrates, expanding markets create new opportunities. These opportunities are beneficial, and often require insight into the local business culture.

Thomas Friedman was right - The World Is Flat. The only way that today’s companies will be able to maintain a healthy balance sheet tomorrow is if they focus on staying globally competitive. That means they need to devote time to monitoring international developments. They will have to begin (or continue) tapping the global talent pool. They will have to get to know the world.

In Collaboration 2.0, Coleman & Levine (2008) identified 10 Principles of Resolutionary (note, they are not saying Revolutionary, though it is) Thinking (p. 176):

1. Abundance

2. Efficiently Creating and Sustaining Collaborations

3. Creativity

4. Fostering Resolution

5. Becoming Open

6. Long-Term Collaboration

7. Honoring Logic, Feelings & Intuition

8. Disclosing Information & Feelings

9. Learning

10. Becoming Response Able

Note that each of these fits with the Socialutions paradigm, in the furtherance of our engagement of The Relationship Economy. Each of these contributes to a collaborate culture – even if the principles are implemented in pockets of the organization. And each of these principles can be learned, as long as the intended result is a positive change in the corporate culture.

In order to implement Socialutions, collaboration is essential. Today’s individuals and organizations are ready for a change. The time is right.

Ready, set . . . collaborate!

What do you think?

References:

Coleman, D. & Levine, S. (2008). Collaboration 2.0: Technology and Best Practices for Successful Collaboration in a Web 2.0 World. Cupertino, CA: Happy About.

Tapscott, D. & Williams, A. D. (2006). Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. New York: Portfolio

3 comments:

Jeffrey said...

Carter,
This is great! You really nailed it with this post.
I would like to talk to you further about this soon and the research I am doing in the field.
-Jeffrey

Lindy said...

>>Thomas Friedman was right - The World Is Flat. The only way that today’s companies will be able to maintain a healthy balance sheet tomorrow is if they focus on staying globally competitive.<<

This seems to promote the idea that there is one value only and that is profit. I would suggest that there are all kinds of other currencies of value that lie a little closer to home and seem to have been overwhelmingly disregarded in the scramble for ever more profit. It is a pity that these balance sheets don't show a value for the opportunity cost and losses that happen along the way, as local economies and communities are esteemed with less and less value in the overall accounting.

Karen Dempster said...

Absolutely Carter. The work I do in multiple fields is based on this concept, particularly the free sharing of benefits/abundance and openness. Well written and timely.
Regards, Karen D.