Be Productive by Choosing Productivity Scenarios: the Efficiency of Collaborative Approach

Most experts agree on benefits that collaboration can bring to business and claim that effective collaboration enhance the work productivity. The combined brainpower of intelligent people can solve complex problems and successfully work on achieving wonderful results.

Without talking too much about the clear benefits of a good collaboration Silverside presents more concrete information and shares the knowledge on productivity scenarios. It provides a structured way of exploring the effects of a new collaboration platform on how teams work. Scenarios paint a picture of a possible near-term future where new tools combined with better practices can create more effective and efficient ways of working. Scenarios specific to an organization are the most impactful—and this process of discovery is something Silverside can help you with—but there are also generic scenarios that apply across most teams at many organizations.

Silverside

• Smarter Meetings. Hold better meetings that save time and drive an outcomes-focus, by preparing appropriately for meetings beforehand and spending the actual meeting time on making well-informed decisions. Use new meeting technologies that enable remote participants to join, and shared repositories for distributing meeting materials, documenting decisions, and tracking next actions.

• Finding Expertise. Make your experience accessible to benefit yourself and others by maintaining an online profile of your expertise, knowledge, projects, education, and interests. Identify other people with common interests, and learn from their experiences. Your up-to-date profile helps other people find you for new projects and assignments that will grow your career and also enhance organization’s productivity.

• Running a Project. Run effective action-oriented projects to create something new, by pulling together the right team members based on their expertise and knowledge, and using a shared project space for project documents, discussions, decisions, and deadlines. Shared project visibility enables everyone to pull in the same direction.

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• Co-authoring Documents. Create valuable and validated content together with other people, by embracing new generation online document authoring and editing tools. Be productive and stop emailing documents to other people for review and input, and instead work together on a shared collection of documents that alert on changes and enable seamless online/offline synchronisation.

• Onboarding People. Introduce people to new processes and information they need to be across, both when they initially join your organisation and when they move into new projects, departments, and areas of contribution. Helping people more quickly get up-to-speed enables them to make a better contribution faster.

• Collaborating as a Team. Create teams with a strong identity, clear objectives, and members with well-defined roles and responsibilities. Hold open discussions, smart meetings, and inspire out-of-the-box thinking. Use a common digital place to store the team’s current work, and keep task lists real and relevant.

• Smarter Decisions. Make informed and intelligent decisions at the right time, integrating both thinking and feeling into decision-making processes. Be clear on decision criteria, evaluate the options, get input from the right people, and make a strong decision to guide future action.

• Sharing Information. Create collective intelligence to grow shared knowledge by using open documentation and discussion systems rather than private document collections that hide knowledge from everyone else. Discovering other people with similar interests and shared expertise enables deeper learning.

Take the new approach and evaluate the power of collaboration.By choosing right productivity scenarios you can bring your business to the new level. More about collaboration and why it is necessary for our business How to Put Collaboration at the Center of your Business.

Collaboration: more than just a trend!

The concept of collaboration is perceived as a working practice whereby individuals work together for a common purpose to achieve business benefit. Since, the world becomes more and more complex and sophisticated collaboration have become a big part of our daily life. People tend to think they can work and survive on their own, however they can until that certain time when they need help form others in any case. Recently, society finally sees the speed of change and gets the idea that you cannot learn everything by yourself. Hence, if you want to stay up to date you need to learn from other people.
Indeed, we all witness the power of collaboration in daily life routine: in the supermarket, in the bank etc. Can we really do things alone the same way we do it together? Collaboration in general is about working together, but let’s make the collaboration about working together better and more efficient. Hence, probably all of us agree that many activities are better done together. If we take a look at a work environment, collaboration plays an important role in working and achieving business results.

Silverside

Take a look at some benefits that a collaboration can bring us:

• Comprehend yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Before the collaboration starts both (all sides) have to present themselves in order to show other their abilities. This self-awareness gives the ideas where we can help other and when you need to ask for the help.
• “Two heads are better than one “.This truth is known for many centuries already… and it is just true. The problem can be solved more effective when all resources are combined. One’s talent, other’s experience, finances and etc. Sharing your knowledge and resources with others leads you and your business to the new or bigger market. It maintains the connections you already have as well as helps to establish more of them.
• Take the broader approach. Evaluate your collaboration: did it go not as good as you expected? Sometimes things don’t work out well no matter how hard both sides try, but it should not be the sign that you will be not willing work with that organization or a person again. Learn from the failures, but have in mind that even though the work on a project fails, it does not indicate that this partnership will be not successful in the future.
• Opportunity to learn. The opportunity to become a growing organization that has a values to learn and be up to date. Every time your organization collaborates with others you learn from them. You also evaluate the market challenges better and so stretch the comfort zone of your organization.
• It’s simply…trendy. This decade is the decade of collaborations, especially when it comes to a fashion world from a branding perspective. Famous brands and names united to hit with a new power instead of competing in this big market. What is more, many brands that belongs to totally different spheres of market comes to fashion and seems that both sides win. KENZO x H&M, Vetements and a parcel service DHL, a singer Rihanna x PUMA Fenty… the list is long, but the idea is quite clear. The collaboration is a trend that is reborn with a new perception and power.

Read more about how to change your company culture into more collaborative business 4 Steps to Change your Company Culture.

 

 

HOW TO PUT COLLABORATION AT THE CENTRE OF YOUR BUSINESS

In the hyper-modern era where we are living, new technologies and social media are affecting our way of working and living. Now, everyone worldwide, needs to be 24h connected, 100% efficient and productive. The key to survive in this environment, especially for businesses, is collaboration.

Living in a transforming environment

Transforming business environment

The face of work is rapidly changing and it is affecting organizations in many aspects. Firstly, team work has been modified: moving away from only resourcing projects and initiatives internally, supply chain partners, business partners and customers are increasingly involved in a tight-knit collaboration to deliver joint value. Secondly, decision-making processes are transforming, mainly due to the more than ever limited time available to evaluate choices, outcomes, challenges and to plan how to respond efficiently. Lastly, the legal and regulatory demands are revolutionizing with tightening mandates on data protection and data sovereignty. In response to these multi-faceted changes, organizations should   choose for modern approaches that enable people to connect, communicate and collaborate.

The key is Collaboration

collaboration is the key

There are many reasons why this collaborative change in organizations is necessary today. On one hand, current enterprise tools are outdated and outmoded, while now the need is for fluid tools that enable connection from anywhere. The challenge is how to introduce new technological capabilities in enterprise communication. On the other hand, consumer-oriented tools have outpaced enterprise capabilities. With the widespread adoption of new technologies and platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and LinkedIn, consumers have limitless connectivity to communities, ideas, and expertise. As a consequence, the idea of both contribution and consumption, a change from one-way, consumption-only traditional media channels is becoming more and more real. Companies and organizations should think about how to manage these changes in the consumer landscape to benefit business. Furthermore, we should take into consideration the huge amount of availability of new technologies. Both newly released and well-established vendors are releasing a torrent of new technologies. Business leaders should determine which new technologies have the greatest potential for improving their business.

What is needed to reach Collaboration?

Collaboration Silverside

Success with collaboration as a strategy requires several enabling conditions, such as:  

  •   Clear linkage and alignment between the collaboration intent, business vision and strategy.
  • An organizational culture that encourages key collaborative behaviors to drive innovation and performance. On the contrary, employees in a hierarchical organization with strict processes will find it more difficult to collaborate.
  •   Leadership that can drive the adoption of new ways of working by setting a good example.
  • Recognition that collaboration is a human activity, and that face-to-face meetings have an important place in the collaboration repertoire.
  • Availability of an appropriate collaboration platform and set of tools that support business needs,
  • the organizational culture and the emerging technology ecosystem.

Follow the right methodology

Pace methodology Silverside

The PACE methodology can provide a concrete help for organizations that wants to become collaborative businesses. In particular, four phases are essential in this process:

Plan

Start with a consultancy-led engagement to understand your organization and define the opportunity for becoming a collaborative business. By working with key stakeholders, using assessments, interviews, workshops, company-wide surveys and illustrative productivity scenarios, the vision will be defined. Then, with a well-balanced 3-year goal/3-month plan, the road to achieve your vision is set.

Acquire

Acquire the new collaboration resources required to execute the plan: new technology to support collaborative working strategies, a business framework and an adoption strategy to instill change and transformation across your organization.

Change

Inspire, equip and motivate your people to embrace the transformation journey in their sphere of work in the newly emerging collaborative business.

Enhance

Optimize and increase the value of your change for a collaborative company. Address key challenges that threaten the output of the process and ensure ongoing alignment with the business goals.

 

Putting collaboration at the center of your business is crucial nowadays, if you want to be competitive in the market and optimize your efficiency and productivity. In other words, be the leader, by reaching the best results, in the easiest, smartest and most collaborative way.

Where does the key for a successful business lie? The importance of Organizational Culture

Culture itself is a vague concept and if you ask ten people how do they understand the word ‘culture’, you would have hundreds of different explanations of what a word culture means to them. Indeed, it is such a fuzzy concept, so this time let’s take a look at company culture in more depth.

organizational culture

If we try to take a different angle and raise the question what it is a ‘’good company culture’’ and a ‘’bad culture’’, it sounds quite clear that if it is done well it has a positive impact for an organization. Meanwhile, if it is done badly or the culture in the company does not exist at all, it has a negative result.
Luckily, more and more business people tend to understand that if we have two comparable companies with a similar strategy, the winning one is the one with a better company culture. However, there are people who do not see the culture as a significant aspect simply because it is such an obscure concept.
This happens because people tend to focus on strategy and results where you can see an actual outcome. However, the benefit of a good company culture hides deeper and itself has not any tangible results. Despite this fact, the culture of the organization is a tremendous factor that has a huge impact on employees’ motivation to work for the ultimate results.
Due to the reason that people are so busy with their own tasks and responsibilities, they might not think about the culture within the organization on a deeper level and just because the culture is so complex, managers have a doubt – do they have the time for an extra work on the company culture? Isn’t it a waste of time? However, responsible people have to be aware of the fact that it is has an impact and gives (or does not give) a motivation for many people to work towards common results.
If you are a CEO or a manager, you have to know that your organization (or department) has a culture, it exists anyway and every organization has a different culture, because it depends on employees that are also very different. However, the trick is to focus on those aspects that would really boost the motivation.
The simple question that is important for any business was raised: what are the factors that motivate people to work on the same goal for a successful business? And so, a lot of researches have been done on motivation factors at a work environment.

Without going into the details, the majority of surveys show that factors such as communication, recognition and reward, appreciation, opportunities, a feeling of independence go beyond money. The graph that is presented on Brandongaille.com shows the results of a survey that was held in the United States in 2017. It shows the list of incentives that would make employees engage better at work. 27% of respondents say that more opportunities at work would motivate them, 20% think that career development opportunities and training would drive their motivation, and as we see form the chart, motivators such as flexible job condition, improved cooperation among coworkers, challenging work, and better relationship with manager play an important role in motivating people.

Motivators at work
Figure presents top motivators at work that were named during the survey in the U.S. 2017 (Brandon [Gaille] marketing expert & blogmaster)

We see that these motivators are closely related to the concept of company culture. It means that the key to a successful and well managed business lies inside of the organization – in the human resources – motivated employees.

Hence, not only extensive knowledge of business, trends in technology, but also interest in human potential is required to develop a plan that will fit into the current situation while allowing successful growth and change in the future in your business. The answer of the question where lies the key for the successful business is very simple – motivated employees. Help them feel appreciated and they will work for the success. But remember one thing, different people need different motivation and different means are required to stimulate them to get engaged in any actions.

More about productivity at work you can find in the article Small steps for big changes: Tiny habit huge advantage.

4 Steps to Change your Company Culture

Change a company culture is the most difficult decision for managers and leaders. Indeed, as Tom Peters affirmed:

“It is easier to kill an organization than it is to change it.”

However, nothing is impossible in the business world. For this reason, here there are some tips and tricks that everybody can use as a guideline, in the process of changing company culture and management. Four steps are almost mandatory:

Assess your Company Culture

Assess company culture

The best way to start the change, is to understand where your company culture exactly is. This means understanding which specific characteristics shape it, the mission, the values and the vision. In this challenge, online surveys can help to highlight qualities, pitfalls, challenges and allergies. They also offer specific advice for running an implementation project within the organization and tips for the required change management. Don’t you know how to do it? The Company Culture Assessment will definitely help you.

Start with Why

start with why

Simon Sinek champions the philosophy of “Starting with Why”. This is a simple yet profound message that motivates leaders and employees to change. There is a strong need to communicate to all employees the reasons for a project and what the consequences of this migration will be fro them. And motivation means people want to change, rather than must change. This will drastically reduce employees’ retention towards the change.

Productivity scenarios: Find the right tools

productivity scenarios

Productivity scenarios provide a structured way of exploring the effects of a new company culture. Scenarios paint a picture of a possible near-term future where new tools, combined with better practices, can create more efficient ways of working. Finding the right tools for the change, having as a base the features of the company culture and the behavior of its employees, is one of the most decisive task in the process.

Tiny Habit

Change Habits

A “Tiny Habit” is a simple behaviour or action you do at least once a day, that takes you less than 30 seconds and that requires little effort. Every time you success in doing or embracing the new habit, you must celebrate. The stronger you feel a positive emotion after your Tiny Habit, the faster it will become automatic. Yet, with little actions repeated regularly, we can easily transform our attitude at work. If you are thinking to change a company culture and employees’ behaviour in only one day, you are completely wrong.  The process requires time and efforts, but at the end, the result will be successful.  

Altogether, these four steps make leaders understand that the change is never immediate, nor simple. But with awareness, team collaboration, motivation and hard work, it is possible to change the company culture, without neglecting the core values at the base.

 

Make it colorful: an innovative company culture assessment

Nowadays, company culture is more important than ever. Actually, it is becoming a ‘must have’ for every organization, so why does it have an impact on a work environment?

Company culture describes the environment in which employees work and defines certain elements within the company, such as company mission, vision, values and goals. More concretely, the difference between a team-based culture and a formal top-down culture indicates two very contrasting approaches that have their own pros and cons. Of course, these are two opposite parts and every organization culture exists somewhere in between those extremes.

Team work

Why is it important to know the culture of the company? It is relevant from both employee and employer perspective: workers are more likely to enjoy their time in the workplace when they fit in with the company culture. In addition, the head of the organization also has less difficulties to manage people knowing which approach suits the best in a given situation. According to many researches, it helps to develop better relationships with colleagues and increases productivity. Despite the fact that there are many means to evaluate the culture of the company (quality and quantity methods). The Collaborative Culture Assessment methodology provides a well-structured online survey that gives quick, deep and accurate insights.

Collaborative Culture Assessment

The Collaborative Culture Assessment is a method used to profile an organization’s culture and predict collaborative behavior based on individual assessments using an online survey. It uses a proven psychological model and logic related to the work of Carl Gustav Jung and Daniel Ofman. It is based on an experience with hundreds of companies worldwide and more than a decade of research and development by internationally acclaimed collaboration experts.

The computer-generated profile will first describe the organization as a person based on the total survey. The profile that is generated after the survey is done describes the culture of the company. What is more, it gives specific advice for running an implementation project within the organization, as well as tips for the required change management to reach maximum user adoption. The report ends with an overview of the balance between Introvert versus Extravert focus and Thinking versus Feeling decision making. This gives a concrete information on the organizational culture and helps to define strategies to discover the organization, scope the opportunity and create a plan.

How do we know what the best approach for your implementation is?

The respondents are invited to participate in the online Collaborative Culture Assessment. This process will guide them through our proven and user-friendly wizard asking direct and indirect questions about your company’s culture and collaboration behavior. We can easily include tailor-made questions and customize it to fit your company’s style and language.

The output of the survey

The profile provides one of the 336 high-level descriptions of your company’s possible work style. It includes personal productivity, collaboration in teams and core process-driven collaboration. We calculate the score and show your results.

Have it colorful: this is where the four colors come in

During the assessment, the results are calculated and your company’s color energy is elected. What does this mean? The PACE methodology created by Silverside establishes four different categories of the company culture and marks them with four colors.

 

Company culture

The image illustrates four different characteristics of a company culture energy and compares them with natural phenomenon (Image: Silverside)

Yellow describes an Innovative culture

Organizations with innovative cultures typically encourage new ideas and feedback, and operate with a great deal of transparency. It goes hand in hand with a strong future vision, entrepreneurial and risk taking.

Green goes for Community Culture

The culture emphasizes the success of the people in the work environment, teamwork, and compassion for the customer. Decisions are usually consensus driven and transparency is typically high. Individualism may not be encouraged or appreciated, which may cause some minor issues during a collaborative business social business transformation. It has some leadership attributes such as coaching, supportive, consensus-driven.

Red is for Execution Culture

This culture type may be less able to make the transition to a collaborative business without considerable effort from leadership and perhaps outside consultants. The culture emphasizes results over collaboration, and leaders like to be leading conversations and not taking much input from the front lines. This competitive culture usually means people are accustomed to hoarding information rather than sharing it. It can be described with adjectives such as competitive, demanding and challenging.

Blue is for Command and control Culture

This culture type is very structured, and process governs the way people work. Therefore, it is very unlikely that the company can be transformed into a collaborative business without significant changes. A premium is placed on efficiency, coordination, and following procedures. The leadership governs the company like the military runs its operations. This command and control culture typically means top-down information control with little tolerance for contrarian views from the front lines. It is linked with hierarchical, expert at process and coordination.

Curious which color your company has? Maybe now it is the right time to get to know the culture of your company and take advantage of it.

More information about improving your company culture can be found in the article Organizational Culture, Identity and Image: Everything you should know to avoid confusion written by Marzia Polese.