Where’s the Collaboration?

During a phone call in late January, Fred (not his real name) asked:

I’m working in Office 365 and SharePoint and sharing a lot of knowledge and content. But it’s all knowledge management. Where’s the collaboration?

I have a couple of answers, albeit without having the opportunity to interview others at his firm and do a proper study:

1. Fred is the adoption person inside his firm – he’s the one championing for the use of Office 365 (and its various capabilities). It would make sense that in the early days of that role, a lot of his direct work will involve sharing knowledge and content on what’s possible, what’s feasible, what’s useful. Except with members of his own team, it is unlikely that he’ll be doing a lot of collaboration with other members of the firm. And thinking about it, that may never actually happen, because the best outcome of his work is that he enables people from the firm to be productive and effective with Office 365 in their work, not to collaborate with him.

2. While Fred may not directly see a lot of collaboration with others from the firm, he should expect to see a growing acceptance of collaborative ways of working, aligned with the possible / feasible / useful scenarios he is introducing and championing for. If he is not seeing them, that’s a perfect signal to go out and talk with the people and teams he has worked with, in order to understand what is and isn’t working for them. Perhaps collaborative ways of working are being practiced, but they are hidden from him. Asking those involved with give insight into that.

Is there any other good news for Fred?

What’s Your Question?
Do you have a question you’d like me to answer? You can leave a comment below, tweet me (@collabguy) with the hashtag #askcollabguy, or get in contact through my web site.

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