WWPYCBW: Strategy and People (September 10, 2008)

7 Skills for Effective Collaboration
Shawn lists seven personal skills for effective collaboration: “How to apologise; How to advocate your point of view without harming your collaborator’s feelings; How to spot when a conversation gets emotional and then make it safe again to continue meaningful dialogue; How to listen and get into the shoes of your collaborator; How to define a mutual intent that will inspire action; How to tell and elicit stories; and How to get things done so you have something to show for your collaboration.

Challenges of Enterprise Collaboration
Oliver Marks on enterprise collaboration strategy and Web 2.0: “Web 2.0 technologies are not a magic wand that will force people to collaborate. Tools can make it easier and make people want to collaborate, but often people are fearful of how long it will take and will it change their work/home life.

Focus in Distributed Collaboration
Leadership in distributed teams is about maintaining focus. “At the scale of a distributed startup, leadership amounts to establishing a focus. If you attempt to manage at the task level instead of providing a framework for team members to decide if something is within or without the focus of the team, the team isn’t moving fast enough. Management does provide the process discipline and measurements to sustainably keep the smaller decisions in check with focus, but it underperforms in abscence of leadership. And there is another word for too much management, overhead.

Quick Links
– Stuart wonders whether public companies are less interested in social media tools as a way of doing business, compared to a stakeholder positioning strategy.
– Three ideas on improving leadership of virtual teams: consider motivation, practice being a leader, and get support.
– How do you facilitate knowledge hand-offs from experienced people to less experienced people? BusinessWeek catalogues 10 ideas.

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