What Kind of Organization Are You?

Not all organizations are created equally. While many companies measure their success based purely on their bottom line, the truth is that attitudes towards innovation, change, and collaboration can have a huge influence on how successful a company is in the long-term. Broadly speaking, there are four types of organizations when it comes to adopting collaborative software/strategies: Skeptical, Reluctant, Willing and Assertive.

Not surprisingly, each of these types is directly affected by constraints such as money and the amount of time they are willing to invest in a project. A Skeptical organization, for example, may implement a wiki for three to six months and test it among a small group of employees. This type of collaborative environment is limited not only in its scope, but also in its effectiveness. To be worthwhile, collaboration needs to involve a larger pool of people over a highly accessible platform. By refusing to give the project the time and group size it needs, a Skeptical organization manages to fulfill its own gloomy prophecy. A Reluctant organization, meanwhile, is not afraid to give the project sufficient time, but they will starve it of effective resources by keeping the number of participants artificially low. Much like a Skeptical organization, a Reluctant organization will remain mired in ineffective collaborative practices by hindering themselves from the beginning.

A Willing organization is frequently one of the most common types. This organization is primed to invest sufficient resources into the project, but they often find themselves motivated primarily by the need to reap immediate business value. This time constraint can make it difficult to develop a holistic collaboration process that will continue to provide benefits to a company in perpetuity. However, unlike a Skeptical or Reluctant organization, a Willing organization has a much higher chance of success primarily because of their attitude. An Assertive organization, needless to say, is willing to dedicate the resources and time to making collaboration work for them. Assertive organizations will naturally triumph in this arena because they are not attempting to short-change the process; they understand that by investing sufficient time and money into the process, they will ultimately develop a system that will help them continue to generate profits and a company culture of collaboration and innovation.

Any organization should do its best to allocate its resources to becoming at the very least a Willing, if not Assertive, type. The benefits will ultimately outstrip any initial developmental outlay.

Christopher Smith. Canadian. CEO of opin.ca. We provide enterprise content management solutions for governments around the world.

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