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Principal of Chess Media Group, a social business consultancy. Jacob works with mid and enterprise organizations on developing customer and employee engagement strategies. He is also the co-author of Twittfaced, a social media 101 book for business. Jacob authors a Social CRM and Enterprise 2.0 blog.

2 responses to “Money is Not the Top Business Driver for Emergent Collaboration”

  1. Deborah Lange

    In the old days we called it “participation in the workplace”, maybe some of it was directed then, but there was and still is a lot of collaboration that goes on totally undirected. I mean how else do people access information to do their jobs without collaborating across the illusory structures Managers and Consultants have put in organisations since industrial times? Collaboration has been there a long time, people just didn’t notice it and of course now with the internet and technology enabling people to access each other freely this has stepped up the collaboration.
    Some people break down those lines voluntarily, some people need permission to go across the lines. We have created organisations with a false belief, as if we can control people! Technology has helped us explode that myth. Just imagine the possibilities when people in organisations are led with the intent to engage their passion and drive to fulfil a greater purpose for the organisation and themselves than some prescribed job description that we thought we could fit into a box!
    And just like the Berlin Wall collapsed so are the illusory structural lines we have created, not only within our organisations but also across organisations. Yes, those lines, with the illusion of separation of one organisation to another are also dis-appearing as employees collaborate across organisations to access the information they need to get their jobs done and to develop new innovative solutions!
    And as long as those people responsible for encouraging “emergent collaboration” remember the myth – “people can not be controlled”, – just as we could not control people to stop talking to one another, we can not control or force people to collaborate. The best we can do is to create the conditions for people to self-organise, to reach out, to connect, to collaborate, – and then sit back and be surprised at what emerges!!! Exciting times!!

  2. Ryan Tracey

    Thought provoking article, Jacob.

    ROI is typically raised as a barrier to doing anything new. I find it particularly frustrating in areas such as social media because it is notriously difficult to measure. Of course we know social engagement has more to do with goodwill and brand building than advertising or point of sale, but some people just can’t get their heads around it.

    Having said that, I don’t think ROI is absent from the equation. I agree with you when you say “smart organizations realize the value of connecting employees and allowing them to collaborate with one another” – because those organizations will make more money by doing so.

    In other words, money might not be the explicit driver of emergent collaboration, but it is the ever-present tacit one.