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It's Not "If" You Collaborate, But "How"


Organizations seeking a competitive edge in a challenging economy are looking for ways to gain the most from collaboration, and to recognize the real benefits.


Managers and executives want to know who the most likely collaborators are, and, what is the primary motivation for collaboration - to increase personal productivity, improve business processes, or to come up with innovative product ideas?


To learn more about who collaborates and why, Cisco recently conducted one of the first comprehensive studies of the personal and cultural factors associated with successful adoption of network based collaboration.


The study found that collaborators fit into four distinct segments:

    Collaboration EnthusiastsComfortable CollaboratorsReluctant CollaboratorsCollaboration Laggards

Enthusiasts and Comfortable Collaborators regard collaboration as essential to their work and reported the greatest productivity and innovation benefits. The most enthusiastic users are managers in for-profit companies who have held their jobs for 3 to 10 years. Reluctant Collaborators and Laggards tend to agree less with the idea that collaboration can be so essential to productivity.

      Primary cultural factors influencing collaboration include role modeling by leaders, formal collaboration processes, tools, training, and rewards.


      While email and phone conferencing remain valued conferencing tools, 40 percent of respondents said they use Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs.


    The top two uses for collaboration are day-to-day project work and business process improvement, followed by new product development.

Among the conclusions of the Cisco collaboration segmentation study is the finding that recognition of the personal attitudes and organizational culture regarding collaboration is just as important as collaboration tools themselves.


Executives are encouraged to model desired collaboration practices, and to reward collaboration through performance reviews or other reward systems.


Finally, organizations need to implement formal collaboration processes and to provide the tools, IT support and training needed to support collaboration.


Read the full report, and find out more about how collaboration transforms business.

Cisco Systems, Inc.
11 Sep 2009

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