Technology Review Tackles Collaboration Tools

MIT’s Technology Review publication kicked off its new topic for the month: Collaboration Tools. The series is set up with this paragraph:

Powerful software and widespread Internet connectivity are making it easier than ever for people to work together no matter where they happen to be. Throughout March we will look at the latest tools for collaboration within and between organizations. We’ll analyze why some technology-enabled collaborations work and why others don’t. We’ll explain why some collaboration tools have failed to prove useful to the employees meant to benefit from them. We’ll present case studies, profiles, and interviews that help you understand how to make the people in your organization more collaborative and more productive.

Here are a few comments on what you’ll find in Jeffrey’s initial article:

1. Collaboration isn’t a new idea. But the technology to support collaboration is.

2. David Kirkpatrick foresaw the impact of tools like Lotus Notes on the office, back in 1992. Work has indeed changed – with people demanding a lot more than they did a few decades ago.

3. Collaboration is intricately linked with innovation. Key idea – stop predefining the limits of innovation by embracing closed groups; take a more open approach and invite participation more widely.

4. The seven big themes for the month are:
– consumerize everything.
– it’s all about the culture, with a hat tip to Evan Rosen.
– cherish your experts, not your documents.
– build the 24-hour knowledge factory – use multiple time zones to your advantage.
– mandate structure within the social cacophony.
– tap the wisdom of your crowd, and any crowd.
– keep it real.

5. Jeffrey has included case studies under each of his seven points. All good.

I’m looking forward to reading the discoveries and positions taken in future articles.

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