We’ve already established that collaboration – not just teamwork – is key to success in today’s workplace. And this is true both internally and externally. Fortunately, there is a whole host of tools and technologies to help teams or organisations working on a shared task to be more productive and achieve their goals. These include shared calendars, crowdsourcing tools, Google docs, instant-messaging software, task managers, intranets and countless other software packages and apps now available on the market. But it’s one thing to know you need these tools within your organisation; it’s quite another to truly exploit their power and get people to use them. Make sure your business understands what online-collaboration tools can ultimately do for you.
They empower you to divide and conquer
When you’ve got big projects, if you have online-collaboration tools in place, you’ve established an environment in which you can get a lot more people involved in breaking down those projects – and their requisite problems – and have them tackling them together.
They let you harness a range of knowledge
Across organisations, there are little pockets of expertise. Sometimes these pockets – or people, as the case may be – are in different locations, and without online-collaboration tools, it can be difficult to involve them in projects. Taking advantage of these technologies is a way to ensure that you’re using your best experts to solve your problems. Likewise, these tools let you get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and then draw on the collective strengths.
It’s about figuring out who can come up with your best solutions. And with online collaboration, determining this can often happen very quickly.
They allow you to see things in a whole new way
Online-collaboration tools engage people who are different. We often have tunnel vision when attacking a problem, thinking there’s only one way to solve it based on our experience and our point of view. Bringing in other teams can seem pointless and counterproductive. Indeed, different teams speak different languages – which can be frustrating at times – but on the plus side, they see problems differently from how you see them – bringing fresh eyes to the issue at hand. Consequently, they often bring alternative answers to the table. Online-collaboration tools bring together people with very different backgrounds and see solutions that you wouldn’t otherwise see.