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  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , , , ,   

    6 Characteristics of a Collaborative Leader 

    Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

    In a time when the need to continually repeat existing collaboration among employees in companies, it is more necessary than ever to be clear about the fundamental pillars to correctively build this collaborative work environment. I spoke once before of what the good habits are of collaborative organizations. And today I would like to dwell on the role of those who lead these organizations.

    For the success of collaborative work models, the first thing that should exist is the conviction about the benefits of those who lead them. It is imperative that they have clear what the characteristics they should care for are in order for collaboration to take the  form of triumphant work.

    1. Define and pursue a common objective. A team is a group of people that works together with a common goal. Without this shared goal, there is no team. Without a goal, the group will not have motivation, nor a meaning.

    (More …)

     
  • Ignasi Alcalde 9:00 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , ,   

    Smart Collaboration: The Growth of the Collaborative Enterprise 

    Estimated Reading time: 6 minutes

    Note from the Editor: Ignasi Alcalde has given us permission to use this article that was published in his blog, in which he talks about how collaboration has converted into a key aspect in organizations. What consequences does collaboration have in the definition of work relationships in a corporation?

    We are immersed in a “new economy” in which has begun to predominate more  non-conventional work relationships, and where effective collaboration is consolidating itself as a key point. In his book Sustaining the New Economy: Work, Family, and Community in the Information Age, Martín Carnoy draws the foundation of the scene of work relationships in the “new economy” with the comment: “Work is not disappearing but rather it is suffering a profound change. The two key elements of the transformation are the flexibility of the work process and the interconnection in company networks and the individuals inside those companies.”

    But let’s go a little deeper into the core concept of the “new economy”. While many academics and economists have tried to define it, it’s interesting to note David Neumark’s point of view in his article Employment Relationships in the New Economy where in place of finding a definition of the new economy, he explores its consequences and analyses what the new economy produces as “new”.

    (More …)

     
  • María Teresa Farfán 9:00 am on September 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , ,   

    Your employees’ self-esteem affects your company’s performance 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    Have you ever thought that the feelings and thoughts of your employees about themselves could affect your company’s performance? Often executives don’t ask themselves how they should encourage their personnel’s self-estimate through the organizational culture. However, self-esteem is a major economic factor in companies.

    One of the main causes of business failure is the fear of decision-making, change, and failure. And what’s the reason behind that? The perception that executives or strategists have about their competence, their ability to respond to crisis and new situations.

    In general,there is no aspect that is not affected significantly by employee’s self-esteem, from customer service through to strategic decision-making. Self-esteem is behind all experiences and is key in people’s behavior.

    With new business styles, teamwork has taken on greater relevance and management pyramids have been transformed into horizontal, flexible networks in such a way that, good management of self-esteem aids HR management as the people who work with you feel more secure, accepted, challenged and appreciated.

    In fact, the conditions that promote self-esteem are the same as those that encourage innovation, as they stimulate the creative and active participation of employees for and with the company.

    Stop focusing on employees’ defects, which is what we have done for years; now it’s time to focus on their abilities and allow them to do what they do best: the perception that they can make things better, because it is those same things that they like, their self-esteem and their productivity will improve.

    Good communication helps you to improve your employees’ self-esteem because they feel considered. How about using an Enterprise Social Network to do that? Try Zyncro!

    Ma. Teresa Farfán (@MomBita) is a psychologist graduate from UNAM, with experience in practising psychology both publically and privately in which she seeks an ethical practice and in favor of improving the quality of life and ensuring an integral experience of those with whom she works, be it individuals or companies, looking for teamwork, professionalization, and standardization She has experience in the area of culture, organizational communication, consumer and sales psychology. She participates actively in social undertakings such as Átomo Educativo and is co-founder of khÜn Psicología, a company that seeks to bring psychology to companies and individuals with a multi-disciplinary approach.

     

     
  • Rafael Garcia-Parrado 9:00 am on July 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , ,   

    Organizational permeability as a source of innovation 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    There’s a lot of talk about the need to innovate in HR. The change required in Human Resources must enable in companies new ways of doing things to be implemented.

    Usually, open innovation models are referred to when making allusions to the company’s relationships with the exterior. An organization open to market or consumers’ concerns can revolve around the search for a better alternative in terms of competitiveness . This means that we have to understand the benefit that this permeability to the exterior represents, enabling innovation resulting from relationships to be incorporated.

    However, many companies see innovation from an endogenous model, making the acquisition of innovation somewhat expensive and slow, reducing its competitive potential. This is where their error lies, seeking to maintain the organizational structures of the past by limiting relationships to bureaucratic paperwork and rejecting the option to leverage openness as a channel for allowing new ideas or ways of doing things to seep in.

    Open and participative innovation is required, but it means organizations must understand the benefit of involving third parties with new ideas in their processes and the need to stimulate collective intelligence, promoting the figure of the intrapreneur who alone can favor the creation of value.

    This change towards permeable organizations that opt for forms of open innovation represents a challenge for HR. Its function will be to position themselves as facilitators who need to manage the organizational horizontal alignment, encourage change management towards new models, favor continuous learning, and permit autonomy in people’s work.

    ICTs will play an important role in accelerating innovation through collective construction. This will require companies to optimize their communication channels with the external agents who participate in their processes. In this sense, Enterprise Social Networks as a facilitator of communication and team coordination are a major competitive advantage.

    Rafael García (@rafagparrado) works as a consultant at Índize and has his own blog, which at Zyncro we highly recommend: La Factoría Humana.


     
  • Ana Fernández 9:00 am on July 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, ,   

    Networked society: the power lies with whoever knows how to share and locate knowledge 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    The Internet has revolutionized our way of communicating and connecting. Before we only could connect with people who were physically close to us; now distances no longer matter. We changed towards a networked society.

    Connectivism emerges as a theory to explain the changes that originate in technology in society. The theory as such tends to disappear and now what matters is where information is and who has that information.

    Connected information sets mean our knowledge increases on a global scale. From there, the need not to learn but to classify information and finding criteria to differentiate what is important from what is necessary emerges.

    With the Internet, we can access all that information. Knowledge becomes global and collaboration becomes a requirement.

    The term networked society stops short, a new meaning of Collaborationism has arisen.

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  • Joe Zyncro 9:00 am on May 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , ,   

    ‘VCSsystem, from paper to the Cloud with Zyncro’ 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
    Sergio Escobar, CEO of VCSsystem, shares his experience with Zyncro and his vision regarding the need to implement an Enterprise Social Network in any sector.

    He encourages all businesses to try out their benefits, both in terms of communication and document management, and to be creative in finding ways to cover their business needs with Zyncro.

    How did a company whose business model is based on selling hardware realize that it needed to move towards the Enterprise 2.0?

    VCSsystem is a company dedicated to the distribution of Konica Minolta multi-function equipment, among other activities, but it has always opted for innovation and leadership in its sector. Just because we are a company associated with hardware, it doesn’t mean we need to forget the need to use innovative or pioneering technologies…

    Once the decision was made, why did you choose Zyncro?

    Zyncro is the Enterprise Social Network par excellence. Not just because of the quality of its product, but also because of its team’s excellent approach. Working with a company like Zyncro offers you the security that the project’s outcome will be positive. Very few providers can offer you that. Besides, it includes all the features a company needs: from a tool for knowledge exchange (microblogging) to a cloud-based document management system, a full contact directory, employee resumes… But I think Zyncro’s greatest potential lies in its integration with other tools or the possibility to develop new functionalities based on its core.

    In fact, this was a decisive factor for us in deciding to implement Zyncro, as from the outset we saw the capacity offered by Zyncro to connect with Konica Minolta multi-function systems, and hence we created the “From Paper to the Cloud” concept. All paper corporate documentation is now social and properly organized, and stored in a secure repository that can be accessed from any device.

    What value has using an Enterprise Social Network brought you?

    As I said before, its value lies in managing knowledge and documentation from a social, collaborative and “anywhere” perspective. We are experts in document processing. Zyncro, as an Enterprise Social Network that manages corporate documentation processes natively, was the perfect complement for an organization like ours, which controls paper-based documentation. For this reason, digital processing with this shared, social approach (at VCSsystem, we actively encourage teamwork) provides us with the added value necessary for working, innovating and evolving in line with the times, while still staying true to our style of innovation and collaboration.

    In fact, we not only use it internally, but we have also created “VCS Social”, a space for communicating, sharing and collaborating with VCSsystem employees, providers, partners and clients.

    Would you recommend using tools like Zyncro to other companies in your sector?

    Without a doubt! In fact, I would encourage all companies, not just in our sector, in any sector, to try out its benefits in terms of communication and documentation management, and to be creative in finding ways to cover their business needs with Zyncro. We have developed plug-ins with other business management platforms and we have several ideas for new developments, so we can help you out with whatever you need. We work hand in hand with Misiona (www.misiona.com), expert cloud technology and Zyncro integrator, so we can address the needs of any company, both in paper and in the cloud 😉

    And what about you? Have you tried Zyncro? Did you know you can start to use it free and work collaboratively in your company? Try it free here!

     
  • Jeroen Sangers 9:00 am on May 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , , , , ,   

    Working out loud 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    I’m a freelancer working from home. A large part of my day, I don’t have anyone near, but I don’t work alone. On a daily basis, I’m in contact with my clients, my providers, and my partners with whom I collaborate on various projects.

    However, at times I miss the office’s coffee machine, where I could comment the latest news and laugh with my co-workers. These co-workers were also a major source of feedback related to my work.

    But there are also things that I don’t miss, like weekly meetings to discuss the status of projects.

    Now I only have my partner to have coffee with and comment the news. The rest of my communication has gone digital.

    Collaboration 2.0

    Nowadays, there are many tools to collaborate without needing to be in the same location, from email and Twitter—I still remember the interface at the beginning that went: “What are you doing?”—to complete platforms like Zyncro.

    When partners and co-workers aren’t in the same location, internal communication becomes even more important to generate results.

    Whenever I collaborate in projects remotely, I apply two habits that Bryce Williams identified in his post When will we Work Out Loud? Soon!

    Working out loud = Observable work + Narrating your work

    Observable Work

    This concept simply implies that the intermediate result of my work can be accessed by my co-workers. Instead of saving the document I’m writing in the folder My Documents on my computer, I use online platforms where my partners can see and comment on the progress and even edit the document.

    Based on this feedback, I can correct the focus of my work as soon as possible, and get better results in a shorter time.

    Modern collaboration platforms display in real time what each member of the team is working on. Each time I edit a document, my colleagues can see a notification in the system, even a summary with the changes made. What’s more, all the material is centralized and indexed in order to find the required information quickly.

    Narrate Your Work

    Similarly, I keep a public diary (blog or micro-blog) where I explain openly what I’m doing, what problems I encounter, what solutions I have found, and how I feel. I also share relevant articles I have found and obviously there is space for a joke once in a while.

    Finally, when working on a big project, I try to communicate each day at least these points:

    1. What I have done today
    2. What I have been unable to do
    3. What are the risks I have identified that will affect the project planning
    4. What my plans are for tomorrow

    During the day I keep a document open where I gradually answer these points. At the end of the day, I just have to publish it.

    If everyone in the team narrated their work openly, we wouldn’t need any meetings to assess project status and we would gain a lot of time.

    People who are already familiar with collaboration tools perfectly understand the benefits of working out loud. Others simply need to try it for a while to learn that they can collaborate efficiently remotely.

    Jeroen Sangers (@JeroenSangers) is personal productivity consultant and author of the blog El Canasto. He specializes in modern techniques to manage time, actions and attention, and provides training, consulting, and keynotes on a more intelligent way to work and live.

    If you want to enjoy the benefits that collaborating has for your productivity too, why not try Zyncro free?

     
  • Jose Miguel Bolívar 9:00 am on May 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , ,   

    Knowledge Networks: Life After the Organizational Chart 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: The new ways of the enterprise 2.0 transform companies and mean a change that affects even hierarchies and organizational charts. Today we’d like to share with you this post that José Miguel Bolívar posted a few days ago on his blog which we think is highly interesting. Thank you, José Miguel, for letting us share it.

    In a recent post, Ximo Salas asked himself where is my organizational chart? and, among other things, he stated that “organizational charts haven’t died” and suggested the need to invent an organizational chart 2.0. Unfortunately, it’s true that organizational charts aren’t dead… Yet.

    However, without knowing exactly what Ximo understands as being “organizational chart 2.0” and what type of organizations need one, I think the concept “organizational chart”, or at least in its traditional sense, has no place in the type of organizations we talk about and that we undoubtedly will become, no matter how slow we are in becoming one or how far away they seem at present.

    On the other hand, the death, present or future, of the organizational chart is not a new topic. Much has been written, and well done at that. Like for example this post by Manel Muntada and this other one from Pedro Muro.

    However, apart from the above, the big question for me continues to be: are organizational charts necessary or not in post-industrial organizations or, as I prefer to call them, in knowledge organizations?

    The model used by organizations in the Industrial Era as the backbone is the hierarchy, in other words, a structure that arranges its elements according to criteria of superiority or subordination between people.

    This structure starts from a model, bureaucratic administration, that assumes the division of work as its principle of efficiency, expressed as the division of roles and responsibilities and that hence, seeks as its primordial objective to optimize the transmission and execution of orders or instructions.

    If we think about the traditional assembly line, the model makes sense. There are people whose responsibility is to think, assess the alternatives, find solutions, assess the risks and propose options. Other people are responsible for making decisions and taking risks. Others are responsible for transmitting those decisions quickly and effectively and supervising that they are carried out to the letter. And others, finally, are responsible for carrying out those instructions.

    What’s more, to make it easier, the information travels in a single direction, without return.

    But what happens when, apart from “doing”, all people in the organization must also “think” and “decide”? What happens when we want the information to travel in multiple directions and in real time?

    In these circumstances, the organizational chart is not only no longer useful, but it becomes one of the main obstacles for organizational performance.

    Anyone who knows how a knowledge organization works “from the inside” knows that nowadays the organizational chart has become a decorative and costly element; an organizational relic serving the ego of a few; a bastion of the paradigm of control that perpetuates mediocrity and hinders innovation.

    Today, having a specific position on an organizational chart does not indicate how much you know nor how valuable you are as a professional. It only indicates how much you can manage to bother the rest of the organization if you set your mind to it.

    Organizational charts today are Snow White’s looking glass of a management class in the process of extinction. The carrot of “some day this will all be yours” for too ambitious newbies. And little more.

    The future is going elsewhere. In a world with an overabundance of information, of knowledge in transit, organizations will become progressively more complex while, paradoxically, more flexible and dynamic.

    After some years “leveling out” the organizational charts, it turns out that the organizational future is multi-dimensional. Knowledge networks that cross over and superimpose each other, in constant mutation over time.

    Knowledge networks that are generated from a shared interest, like for example learning (sharing and generating knowledge) or a project (applied knowledge). What’s more, a single person can play not only one but many roles and these roles can be the same or change according to the network. Different roles in different networks… The antithesis of the organizational chart. And of course, all in constant change.

    I’m talking about a future focused on people and not on structures, unlike current organizations, in which people are dependent on the structures (and the processes and technology).

    A not-too-distant future in which the most important thing is not how much power you have, rather what you know (you personally and also through your networks), and above all, what you know how to do with all that knowledge and how you are demonstrating it.

    In that future, and the need for tools that help tonavigate knowledge networks fluidly becomes evident.

    Be it a profile directory, a social search engine, or any other technology solution, we need tools that tell us in real time what people know about a specific subject, in which networks they are operating, on what projects they are working, and how to contact themto in turn weave new networks.

    An image that produces vertigo in anyone allergic to change, in organizational zombies, in those addicted to the predictable. But that’s life. Diverse, complex, unpredictable, and constantly evolving.

    Fortunately, there is much life after the organizational chart. What’s more, I’d say that the future is ahead of us…

    Jose Miguel Bolivar (@jmbolivar) is Artisan Consultant, ICF coach, lecturer, researcher, speaker and author of the blog Óptima Infinito, in which he has been writing about Innovation in Productivity and GTD methodology since 2008. With a degree in Social Psychology and Political Analysis from the UCM, a master’s in HR from the Centro de Estudios Garrigues, José Miguel has extensive experience as an executive in highly competitive environments such as HP or Life Technologies. Currently, as Artisan Consultant and Coach, he works to increase competitiveness in organizations, improving individual and collective productivity of its employees.

     
  • Joan Alvares 9:00 am on May 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , , ,   

    Liquid teams for liquid times 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    There’s one question that is usually repeated when you get up to present your company: How many of you are there? At times I say there are three of us, others that there are thirty odd, according to the need to be impressed I see in my interlocutor. And in both cases, I’m telling the truth, because at Poko we work with a basic core of project managers and a liquid team that adapts according to each project.

    I’m one of those who thinks that to do something that makes sense, a team needs to be adapted to the project, not the opposite. Because when a company refuses to leave its comfort zone, when it doesn’t feel the need to involve external talent and explore beyond its own knowledge, normally it’s because it is doing something that already exists, more or less prescindible, that expires, easily Chinesed.

    Today the best restaurants in the world are just that because they had brought cusine closer to fields as diverse as art, science or industrial design; to do that they needed to involve the best professionals in these fields. A talent that a fixed structure surely could not have paid, and that would not make sense having permanently in a kitchen. Tomorrow’s project will be different to today’s, and it will force us to find collaboration with different professionals

    In a constantly changing world, the Internet enables us to build big companies without the need to be big structures. The idea is to create talent ecosystems, capable of detecting challenges in a project and capturing the best specialist to respond. The Internet invites us to discovery, disintermediation, cooperation among professionals with different talents that work in different parts of the world. It’s up to us to accept that invitation.

    In your organization, do you also use collaboration networks for different projects? When you collaborate with disperse team, you need great communication to ensure everything works like clockwork. How about using an Enterprise Social Network for this? Try Zyncro!

    Joan Alvares is founding partner of Poko and lecturer at the Istituto Europeo di Design

     

     
  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on March 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: collaboration, , , , ,   

    The 12 habits of collaborative organizations 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Yesterday I read that Virginio Gallardo said on Facebook that “the Enterprise Social Network awakens sleeping talent in organizations”. Enterprise Social Networks open a direct and permanent communication channel and facilitate collaboration among your employees, making it easy to share knowledge, tips, doubts and ideas, and waking up personnel in your company.

    Eva Collado Durán replied to Virginio’s thread, pointing out that “they also awaken authentic opinion leaders who are far from higher hierarchical positions .” It’s true. Horizontal communication provided by Enterprise Social Networks places all employees in the same situation and gives them the same opportunities to share their valuable knowledge with colleagues.

    If you don’t share what you know for fear of losing your position, you’ll end up completely isolated. In a scenario where almost everyone is convinced that you work better and achieve goals faster and more easily by working in a team and sharing knowledge, whoever continues to jealously guard their knowledge will end up lagging behind.

    Companies that understand this new situation have become social companies, have implemented collaborative habits in their daily operation. But what are those habits? We’ll give you some of them here according to an interesting article posted by Jacob Morgan (@jacobm).

    1. Individual benefit is just as important as the overall corporate benefit (if not more important)

    Don’t focus on the overall corporate benefits when communicating collaboration with your employees. They also care about how collaboration will impact them on an individual basis. How will it make their jobs and lives easier?

    2. Strategy before technology

    Before rushing off to implement that new collaboration platform, focus on developing a strategy which will help you to understand the “why” before the “how” . Having a strategy is crucial for the success of any collaboration initiative. You don’t want to be in a position without understanding “why”.

    3. Listen to your employees

    We talk a lot about the importance of listening to customers but what about listening to your employees? If you are going to talk about collaboration, it is important you involve your employees from the outset. Listen to their ideas, needs, suggestions and incorporate their feedback in your strategy.

    4. Learn to get out of the way

    Learn to support and empower your employees and get out of their way. If you try to supervise everything, you’ll stifle collaboration in your organization. Give some guidelines and best practices, but let your employees do what they need to do.

    5. Lead by example

    If the leaders in your organization don’t use collaborative tools, why should employees? Leaders are a very powerful instrument for facilitating change and encouraging desired behaviors.

    6. Integrate collaboration in the work flow

    Collaboration should never be perceived as a task or an additional requirement for employees. Instead, it should be integrated naturally into their workflow.

    7. Reward teamwork

    If your organization focuses on rewarding employees for individual contributions as the driver of success, it will be quite hard to encourage employees to share and communicate with each other. There is nothing wrong with rewarding your employees for personal results, but it is equally important to recognize and reward collaboration and teamwork .

    8. Measure what matters

    There are a lot of things that an organization can measure, but that doesn’t mean that everything should be measured. Focus on the metrics that matter in your organization and analyze how you do there. Some focus on metrics like comments sent or groups created; others prefer to focus on the commitment and passion of their employees with the company and the task they perform.

    9. Persistence

    Converting your organization into a collaborative environment will take time and effort, but it is important to be convinced that that is the right direction and to go for it. No giving up, no going back.

    10. Adapt and evolve

    The need for collaboration in organizations is here to stay. This means that your organization must be able to adapt and evolve as tools and strategies demand. Being aware of what is happening in your industry and in your organization. This will also enable you to innovate and anticipate changes successfully.

    11. Employee collaboration also benefits the customer

    Your employees’ collaboration has a tremendous value for your customers. Your employees will be able to give the best support experience if they have the information, resources and experience of internal experts . A employee may not always have the reply the customer needs, but they will have access to the knowledge of the entire organization to resolve the problem .

    12. Collaboration can make the world a better place

    Perhaps the most important principle of collaboration is that it can make the world a better place. Sure, collaboration can make your employees more productive and also benefit your customers. It makes your employees to feel more connected with their co-workers, reduces stress, makes their job easier, gives them more freedom, and in general, makes them happier people, not just at work but at home too.

    And in your organization, what collaboration strategies have you put into action? What are your habits for becoming collaborative organizations? Tells us about it! :-)

     

     
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