The meaning of ‘Collaboration’
Historically collaboration has two very distinct meanings:
- The act of working with someone in order to produce something e.g. “the movie script was a collaboration between two writers”;
- Traitorous co-operation with an enemy, e.g. “the prisoner faces charges of collaboration with the enemy”.
It could be argued that the ability to leverage technology to create effective interactions in both the physical and virtual space, has created yet another meaning – where highly diversified teams can work together in a purposeful manner, even when separated by physical distance, to create, improve, innovate, build relationships, and become more efficient.
Even if this ‘third’ definition is really a refinement of the first meaning above, it is this technology based meaning that lies behind “collaboration” as the latest buzzword in workplaces globally.
Collaboration is not just about technology however. It is about behaviour. High performing, intelligent performers often function rather like an individual brain cell: lots of potential but limited as a single unit. Finding ways to motivate those individual cells to collaborate, offers huge growth potential, as the cells combine to work as a unified brain!
Once the motivation and enthusiasm is there, enabling a collaboration technology solution becomes crucial! With an understanding that it is the act of sharing itself that will enable growth, using virtual technology to expand human networks becomes essential. A means to connect, bond and collaborate that is not restricted by physical boundaries.
Examples of collaborative technologies include interactive displays, collaboration software, wireless presentation systems, videoconferencing, and more.
Although virtual technology is eagerly accepted by the under 30s, many organisations have a work force of more senior years. It is a real transition for many to accept the change of meeting in a virtual space, as against meeting in the physical. It is therefore imperative that any technology solution provided to enable this transition, should be robust, simple to use and very, very, user friendly. When introducing untried, unproven, over complicated systems into your workplace, you run a real risk of alienating those high performers the first time that new technology lets them down.
Research indicates that many companies lose 15 valuable minutes or more at the start of each meeting, attempting to get the technology in the room up and running – totally undermining the aim of increasing productivity by team collaboration!
“It just works . . . “
High performing teams today are demanding “it just works” technology which is reliable and instinctive to use, and does not require time consuming prior training. An immersive, visual collaboration technology solution should be easy to use, with no wires to connect and no settings to change. Once set up, devices should intuitively connect to the workspace to make best use of time available.
Those more “technically challenged” or in dispersed locations should be able link in, just as easily as the new generation of digitally sophisticated employees. All are then provided with the immersive collaborative technology that will enhance the creative momentum of the group, and enable them to get projects achieved better and faster.
Huddle Spaces / Huddle Rooms
Traditional boardrooms are rapidly being replaced by more flexible, dynamic workspace. Huddle spaces or huddle rooms are being introduced. A collaboration technology solution delivers huge benefits to those in huddle style meetings as every member (whether physically present, or joined remotely) is fully engaged, and enabled to share and interact with multiple streams of visual data simultaneously from any device. Specialist technologies are available to support these quick ‘on the fly’ meetings in smaller spaces.
Collaboration technology allows a distributed team to share drawings, pictures, budgets and proposals, easily from familiar applications. Pixel rich screens can enable large files to scale and render with fine resolution, allowing meeting participants to zoom in and focus on detail as required.
Any forward thinking company can no longer rely on traditional meeting room technologies. To drive maximum efficiency and overcome the challenge of a diverse global work force, businesses must embrace a collaboration technology solution to provide the communication tools that facilitate informed and faster decision making.
If you’d like to discuss the options available to your organisation to update / improve / replace your current technology, please contact us.