October 25, 2007

Using the Internet to make a company culture more collaborative

Many companies still organize like machine bureaucracies – for example by doing one or more of these things:

* Making hierarchical structures with several organizational levels and power for decision making centralized at the top – thereby sometimes making the company a slow mover.
* Recruiting managers who command and control – for example by focusing a lot on rules.
* Promoting 1-way flow of information, for example by not using interactive and collaborative technologies such as blogs or other internet communities, and by only involving employees and other managers to a limited degree – even at information meetings.
* Standardizing and specializing work, so people do more or less the same every day - following more or less the identical schedule.

Paul Sloane writes here about a different way of organizing. He encourages companies to create online-communities – thereby harnessing the collective creative power of customers. He mentions some of the many possibilities on the Internet.

For a company, there are more advantages of using interactive and collaborative tools / Internet communities. Here are some of them:

* You can work more actively with customers.
* In addition, you invite people to work together with many other company external as well as company internal people across various borders - for example across functions, through hierarchies, across companies, across industries, across national borders and cultures. This diversity in various teams/groups speeds up not least creativity.
* You invite people to work anytime and anywhere. That speeds up not least efficiency.
* You promote continuous learning / development of knowledge/talents.

How do you use the Internet to make the culture of the company, you work for, more collaborative – thereby making the company more successful?
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