Scaling Collaboration

My friend Emmett, who in some ways manages his own clipping service, recently sent me an interesting article by Andy Grove “How to Make an American Job Before It’s Too Late.” Grove, who always seems to be in the groove, talked about how start-ups are not the way out of this economic mess, and how we need to develop businesses that scale. He says “Equally important is what comes after that mythical moment of creation in the garage, as technology goes from prototype to mass production.” The same is true for communication and collaboration in a company. I recently worked at a large company that still depends on email to share information, to have people respond to that sharing of information and then to have even more people respond to the sharing of the sharing of that information. Like Luis Suarez preaches, lets move collaboration away from Outlook.

This is really important for start-ups as they begin to scale. They need to nip information-sharing-with-Outlook in the butt. If they don’t do this in the beginning, then their efforts to implement Sharepoint (which is sometimes and IT person’s view of the evolution of collaboration… cause we walk with Outlook and then crawl (to a standstill) with Sharepoint.. and then some other big enterprise system comes in and tries to save the day).

So scaling jobs is like making woopy (sp?)… you can’t do it successfully unless you plan it and if you plan it, it helps to collaborate with the people impacted!  So, while we are following Andy’s advice – lets not forget that we are all on this together.

Now Andy’s article touches many subjects. He also admits that scaling is not easy. But in today’s knowledge worker society, information sharing and collaborative work is imperetive! In my next blog, I will provide some ideas on how to accelerate it!

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