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Age-old business processes are holding us back and preventing us from being more imaginative, innovative and creative. But by making good use of collaboration technologies, we can change that and adopt more inspirational, open, free-thinking and entrepreneurial working environments.
We have all witnessed the phenomenal growth of businesses like Amazon, Google, AirbnB and Uber. These companies have risen to incredible success on the back of the digital transformation that has swept across all markets over the last few years. They have succeeded because they have been very focused on riding that wave.
They were set-up to compete in a world in which is dynamic and constantly changing. They are structured in a way that enables them to innovate and adapt very quickly.
Rather than the linear, command and control type of hierarchy that most enterprises still have today, they are much more fluid and flexible. The structure works outwards from the centre and enables different functions within the organisation to interact and connect with each-other and with the management team, directly, openly and at almost any time.
The customer is placed at the centre of their model. Their needs and desires drive the direction of the business. Design and development, production, sales and marketing, finance and other functions are encouraged to interact and collaborate. This makes it possible for them to work together more freely and respond faster to changes.
The older, linear infrastructure is not as flexible. Before a decision can be made, information (often in the form of reports) will need to go up the command and control chain before any direction can come back down the line. That can take time and make it harder for organisations to respond to change quickly enough.
To ensure they can complete in this environment, established businesses need to become more interactive and open and dynamic. For organisations that have always been very rigidly formed, this is not always easy. Different functions may have quite different ways of working and may even be situated in different buildings or locations. Getting the right people from the right teams talking to each other may be a challenge.
This is where collaboration technologies can play a really pivotal role, by making it easier for groups of colleagues to communicate, share information and work together on tasks, wherever they are located. A modern collaboration suite will be very simple and seamless for everyone to use. People become very comfortable using them very quickly indeed.
By making intelligent use of collaboration solutions, more traditional organisations can start to break down some of the barriers that are inherent to the linear, command and control type organisational structures and encourage a more open approach in which information and feedback can be shared faster, and ideas and innovation can flow freely.
If you’d like to hear more about our views on collaboration and the key role it can play in helping organisations to adapt and complete in today’s fast-changing market, please read our A better way of working together whitepaper.