The more I work with and research organizations deploying emergent collaboration strategies and technologies the clearer it becomes that there is no catch-all strategy. Even if you define a thorough set of use cases and create a 100 page strategy document there are always going to be surprises and things that come your way that you have never thought of. This isn’t a problem it’s just something that organizations need to be aware of and expect. One of the things I keep seeing at organizations is that very in depth strategies are not created and long-term plans are not developed. Over and over again it is reaffirmed to me that organizations that spend time trying to think of everything end up accomplishing nothing.
It’s just like learning how to swim. You can spend months learning about the perfect stroke and how to breathe while swimming, but until you are actually in the water doing it you haven’t accomplished anything. The most effective technique for learning how to swim is by actually getting in the water (starting in the shallow end) and moving around and actually trying to swim.
So what does this mean for the emergent collaboration side of things?
It means a few things for organizations:
- develop a solid set of use cases but don’t try to come up with everything, there will always be things you miss
- try to frame a big picture of where you want your efforts to be in the long-run but try to keep action items, changes, enhancements, and actionable strategic direction to manageable bite-size chunks, for example looking 1 quarter down the road instead of one year
- anticipate and expect surprises and things to happen that you didn’t anticipate or predict, such as the development of additional use cases
- expect that you will learn a lot as you implement and that your direction for emergent collaboration might change as you get feedback and insights from your employees