19 November 2013

LIKE 50: The Business Case for Collaboration

LIKE meetings have had a few homes in the organisation's short life and in November it moved again, this time to The Queen's Arms in Victoria. This was chosen to be convenient for our speaker, Jacob Morgan author of The Collaborative Organisation, who was a keynote speaker at the Online Information 2013 conference that was happening nearby.

The venue may have been different but everything else about the evening was the same, which meant that it was another good evening. I was sat at the risotto table at one end of the room with a good view of my fellow diners and the speaker.

LIKE meetings are always interactive, though the means of interaction varies, and Jacob kept to this rule by asking us for examples and questions as he told us his story arguing the case for collaboration at work. This was familiar territory for most LIKErs but Jacob introduced some new perspectives which kept the familiar fresh and interesting.

As usual, I tried to keep notes of what the speaker said, comments made by other people and my own thoughts. I was also trying to tweet some of the highlights and to take some photos of the event. And they say men cannot multi-task.

This is what I captured during our conversation on conversations.

The Millennials bring new ways of working into companies.

Older staff are leaving taking their knowledge with them.

Networks now break outside of the company which used to be the natural boundary of employees' interactions. Now it is often as easy to communicate with somebody in another company as in your own.

The Work/Life balance rules changed. The company used to set the rules, now employees do, e.g. deciding on when and where to work.

Work is still structured in some ways, e.g. need to check work emails etc.

Some organisation just don't get it, e.g. banning Facebook at work. Millennials would rather earn less and and work the way that they want to than work for dinosaur companies. The balance of power has shifted towards employees with the right skills.

Zombie workers is an issue. Companies make employees work at home to save accommodation costs and then leave them alone. They become disengaged employees with little loyalty to the company.

Paying for education is not an obvious benefit especially if the job is boring. Job security is a myth, so why do a boring job? Portfolio working is a new option.

Big companies are relatively new phenomenon (created by industrialisation and globalisation) and are inherently inefficient and/or leaderless, e.g. a leader cannot possibly direct 200k people.

Yammer works as a business tool but is not a social network. Face to a Face is still is important.

It may have been familiar territory but it was fertile territory and it produced some new insights, particularly with respect to the diminishing role of companies.

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