Collaboration for Innovation

23 Jan Collaboration for Innovation

InnovationLeaders at innovative companies must focus on building a community.

Good leaders create the environment set for innovation, by creating a workplace where individual slices of genius can be fostered and collected into collaborative powerhouses. To unleash the innovation within your organization, you must tap into the talents and passions your employees have to create work that is actually useful. Innovation is usually strongest among a diverse group of people who have different expertise and points of view. Innovative organizations do not simply go along to get along. They do not compromise. They do not let one group or one individual dominate, even the boss. They have developed a persistent and more inclusive decision making process that allows for “both/and” alternatives to arise and not simply “either/or”.

Bottom Up Innovation

All the voices in your organization should be heard. Effective companies design a digital workplace that is more like a public square where people can interact. Your digital workplace will facilitate bottom up innovation. This method unleashes the power of your collective. Strategy and planning will bring order to the chaos of initiatives and providing a clearer basis for ordering priorities and managing the cross-functional interdependencies.

Enable Agility

In order to capture the genius of the collective and encourage innovation through collaboration, digital leaders must create an agile organization that can respond quickly with the most sensible solution. Many companies are immersed in technology and trying to learn how it can transform their businesses. However, many technology efforts tend to be ad-hoc and uncoordinated. Without the proper framing and planning at the company level, the best initiatives may fail.  Organizations need a holistic view of the digital opportunities combined with an overall vision of how digital can reshape their landscape.

Innovation Through Collaboration

Collaboration is not an end goal but is essential in creating an innovative and consistent work product. The hub of your digital workplace should include a social intranet or feature-rich Enterprise Social Network (ESN) platform. The right platform implementation will include a mix of collaboration, communication, and business processes that help with the overall digital workplace strategy. Digital tools are the human work repository. Growing the best tools requires setting the stage for innovation and creating a great strategy to get there.

The message is simple. Plan to include all voices. Ensure all of your employees will be heard. Create your digital workplace with collaboration and innovation in mind and enjoy taking your company to the next level.

Andy Jankowski

Andy is a Global Executive in IBM's Talent & Transformation Practice and the Global Leader of IBM's Managed Employee Services offering. With a background in enterprise technology and management consulting, he's spend the last of 26 years helping companies understand, plan for, adopt and use new technologies to transform their businesses. He is known for his view that lasting, meaningful business transformation happens from the inside out, and focuses almost exclusively on business objectives, outcomes and new, better ways of working. A few examples include: Forbes: “From Inside Out, Speed Your Company’s Transformation” BBC News: "Online Chatting at Work Gets the Thumbs Up from Bosses" Forbes: "How Employers And Employees Collaborate To Create Better Work" Andy is a frequent keynote speaker on the topic of using new technologies to transform the way business is done. When not working, you can find him spending time with his wife and two children, boating, road cycling and playing electric guitar.

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