Glenn Engstrand

The enterprise collaboration space is heating up. Sometimes called Enterprise 2.0 and sometimes called social media, a lot of executives and key decision makers are attending conferences about collaboration. High profile think tanks are starting to advocate for the enterprise to get social. Even mainstream companies are starting to see compelling value in adding more collaboration to their portals. Collaboration is also starting to gain more positive traction in the press, too.

So, don't be surprised if that announcement of a new company wide collaboration initiative hits your corporate in-box one day soon.  Architects, project leaders, and knowledge workers need to prepare for that day. Here are 5 lessons learned from a software vendor with two collaboration products already released and a third one on the way.

  1. Stand on the shoulders of giants. Study those companies who have gone down this road before you and have succeeded in their efforts at enterprise collaboration.
  2. Be prepared to change the way you do business. Chances are that your organization will have to change some of its behaviors in order to really reap the full benefits of enterprise collaboration.
  3. Increase your collective IQ. Get smart about collaboration by harvesting the knowledge that such activity can yield.
  4. Email is your enemy and your friend. There is going to be this love/hate relationship with email. People are habituated to using email so it is a really effective touch point for re-engagement; however, email is not very effective when collaborating over documents or engaging in collective decision making.
  5. Get flat. Companies with a flatter organizational structure tend to benefit more from enterprise collaboration than those companies whose org charts look like the Eiffel Tower.