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Despite having innovative tools people don’t collaborate

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We all know that only the “learning organizations” have a bright future ahead. Knowledge is the key predictor of success. So why aren’t we eager to share our knowledge? Why often people working for the same organization don’t cooperate?

Nowadays, with the development of IT industry companies give their employees the variety of tools to make their work more productive and efficient. But it requires a lot of time to adopt them and adapt to new working patterns. Often the managers first have to break down people’s resistance to change  and innovation.

The question is- are all these tools a help or a hindrance? Do they actually stimulate collaboration?

New tools hinder cooperation?

The moment a new application/software tool is introduced in the organization the reality changes dramatically. Cooperation is not as smooth as it could be. We only think we collaborate but according to the report Why businesses don’t collaborate?– we don’t.

The authors of the survey received 523 responses to 12 questions about meeting management, group input and the use of company wikis. I’m presenting the most important conclusions of the report.

We hate emails

Email is significant time management issue. 80% of people receive between 10-100 emails a day and they are able to respond, file or manage only 25 % of this number.

65% emails include attachment which can be easily put on the wiki page but most people don’t understand the concept of a shared folder.

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We like the concept of a wiki but we don’t trust it

92% of respondents had to compile feedback from multiple sources into 1 document. They found it painful and inefficient and would rather collect feedback from a shared and collaborative platform like Wiki.

75% knew that wikis can be used for documents that demand some group input– proposals, minutes, meeting agendas, technical documentation etc. They said they already used it and were satisfied.

25% were skeptical to wikis as too sensitive to hacking, anarchic and not suitable high-security environment. They didn’t realize that it mainly affects public wikis, not company dedicated wikis that are behind firewall, have access features and are highly secure.

They didn’t know that using wiki would require the same credentials used for company email for instance.

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We see innovation as a threat not as an opportunity

The above findings are not surprising and I think they simply reflect the opinion of most growing organizations. However, I find it quite pessimistic that so few people have low trust in the security of company wikis despite being aware how useful and helpful they might be.

The bottom line is- we won’t get very far in implementing wikis and other innovative tools in our companies before we actually convince people they are safe to use. I guess, the resistance to innovation can only be overcome with increasing the trust level among the prospective users.