Melanie Turek's Blog


New eBook Targets Shift in Collaboration

12 Jan 2013 | by Melanie Turek
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One of the biggest shifts in business today is a steady move toward a virtual workplace, in which employees routinely work in locations that are different from those of their colleagues, managers, and direct reports—not to mention customers, partners and suppliers. Whether they are working from a remote office, home office, client site or the road, these employees are increasingly looking for ways to communicate with each other from a variety of endpoints, on a multitude of networks.

But that’s not all. Even as these virtual workers redefine the places from which business gets done, they are also changing the way that business gets done. Today’s most effective employees know it’s not enough to simply connect and communicate with colleagues on the job; more important is their ability to collaborate with one another and their business peers. Indeed, the next generation of workers brings a different approach to sharing expertise in the workplace. Social networking and other popular consumer-based collaboration sites like Facebook and Twitter encourage and reward information sharing and collaboration, making users more inclined to share what they know and work together on projects.

Leading-edge organizations recognize that this gives them a rare opportunity to leverage technology to take full advantage of a cultural shift, one that is changing how people actually work and which has positive ramifications for the bottom line. Executives also are recognizing that they can see great benefit from working with partners and clients to solve problems, create new products and services, and generate deeper business relationships—improving not just their offerings, but the customer experience, as well.

Feeding into this growing trend are five key business and technology trends, all of which are discussed in detail in a new eBook I collaborated on with PGi:

  • Crowd-sourcing leverages the power of the people to create and vet ideas by enabling interested parties to come together, virtually, to share what they know and weigh in on everything from new products and services to marketing plans and brand identity.
  • Mobility is the way business gets done, with everyone from senior executives to sales and support personnel to “office-locked” knowledge workers relying on smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices to connect.
  • Consumerization of IT marks a clear shift in how technology develops and spreads: Today, employees identify and use new products and services in their personal lives and then look for ways to leverage that same technology in the workplace.
  • Social Media enables deeper relationships among far-flung employees, but it also allows remote workers to find information and expertise when they need it—regardless of where they or their colleagues are located.
  • Globalization is impacting every organization by extending not just reach (into new customer bases and employee pools) but also rolls (by redefining what it means to be a business in this increasingly multi-cultural environment).

Businesses can prepare themselves for these new ways of working—and gain a competitive advantage—if they give all employees access to technology that supports and encourages not just communication, but true collaboration; by changing their culture to drive and reward teamwork over individual success; and by recognizing the value of flat operations in an increasingly virtual, global workplace.

To download your free copy of this eBook, please go here: http://bit.ly/UKKaWC

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