Many companies face more crucial business improvement and reinvention initiatives than can be comfortably handled simultaneously. Often there is a substantial risk of compromising the ability to deliver on them.
The reason for this is straightforward. First of all, the change bar has been raised considerably. Most businesses have become significantly more dynamic, competitive and complex over the last couple of decades – soaking up considerable management time and resources in one-off, non-routine project based work. Secondly, to meet these new competitive requirements, most companies are fairly lean and mean relative to the task at hand. There is not a pool of spare capacity that can be deployed towards business improvement and business development initiatives.
This erodes overall strategic impact of the organization. To keep the strategic agenda manageable after all, either ambitions will have to be toned down or implementation efforts lengthened (spreading resources more thinly). Both of which are undesirable.
Since this is not likely going to change in the foreseeable future, it is prudent to search for ways in which the organization’s ability to bring about change can be raised to higher levels. Fortunately, new means of doing just that have become widely available over recent years.
When faced with the need for more project based work, the adoption of project management approaches made sense. Today, most challenges are of a combined people / task nature – requiring approaches drawing on both project and change management.
The latest guise of collaborative technologies allow for a much broader involvement of the organization while at the same time increasing resolution power, program control, and focus on the tasks and challenges at hand. This results not only in better solutions, but also more readily implementable solutions as they are effectively owned by the organization.
Outside the company walls people reach out to dozens of others in even so many communities; we share comments and pictures, participate in online discussion groups on community matters, exchange ideas through blogs and co-assemble information in wikis. Within the boundaries of a company co-workers spent most of their days in meetings, gathered around a white-board, and distribute memos and meeting minutes and send zillions of emails back and forth.
Wouldn’t it be useful if you could reach out to co-workers anywhere in the world instead of only those in the same meeting room? If you could have colleagues contributing any time of the day, when it suits them best, wouldn’t that be more efficient than just during a 2-hour workshop cramped into all agendas?
Fortunately, new and tested collaborative tools and techniques make this perfectly possible. With collaborative tools we can involve more key people more efficiently and gather more and better ideas and insights. This results not only in better solutions, but also more readily implementable solutions, as they are effectively owned by the organization.