There was a fair amount of confusion and misinformation about the end of the Mayan calendar last month. Of course, many people saw it as a sign of the end of the world.
I didn’t think so. Of course, there was certainly no harm in having a few “end of the world” parties, but this world has a lot more to offer before it ends.
While I was waiting patiently to hear some big news from, say, New-Zealand the night when so many celestial bodies came together in a once-in-a-mayan-calendar lifetime, it occurred to me again how small this world really is, and how cool it is to be able to communicate across it.
There is no wonder and no big surprise that next big thing being talked about in business technology circles is the idea of Social Business Collaboration. People love to communicate with each other. They love to share with each other, regardless of how well they know each other. You can see a range of different communication models that have taken our lives by storm, such as Facebook. Facebook is really about sharing with people you (mostly) know, more on a personal level. Then of course there are the Facebook-like’s such as Google+. We’re staring to see the LinkdIn model take hold, where people can share their impressive working experience with anyone they (almost) know professionally. Twitter is another example of a social tool that helps you project your ideas to the world, whether the rest of the world cares about it or not.
There are many, many, many, other social tools and platforms that serve as a small personal podium where you can show the rest who you are and what you think.
The point is that people have no doubt taken to these social tools in a very big way. This is in part because they want to be heard and seen on one hand, but they also crave constructive feedback from society on the other. Sharing ideas and different views are an important part of improving our self-thinking. It is a way for us to stop and rethink and re-proof our ideas. Of course, this is true for each of us as individuals, but is no less important for us when working as a team.
Why are sharing views and ideas so important to teamwork?
As a team we all bring our strengths and weaknesses to the group. Some are excellent at problem solving, some are crazy creative, some know the facts, and some bring a personal touch. We all contribute differently to the team effort. Furthermore, it’s easier to spot weak links, and clear out confusions. But most importantly, we all teach and learn, receive, absorb, perceive, and give constantly. We are the beneficiaries and we benefit as contributors.
Now, let’s go back to the “small world” concept for a second. Many teams and companies today are spread around the globe. With today’s technology, communication is becoming easier and easier. But communication doesn’t always mean sharing and collaborating as a team. So how can we take it to the next level and take advantage of social network concepts and teamwork to promote productivity in our business?
Fortunately, more and more companies out there (Jive, Nuage, Kenesto, just to name a few) are taking advantage of the cloud computing platform, where companies can help their teams, either inside or outside the company, to get much more productive and creative while collaborating on projects, ideas and processes, with unlimited accessibility (as long as an internet connection exists), with full traceability, in an highly secured manner.
I imagine a little virtual “war room” that hosts a virtual team across company boundaries, to solve a very real problem, share ideas, collaborate on a solution, assign tasks to solve a problem, share files, trace processes and progress, and document the solution, so everyone can get more educated and know how to improve even better the next time around! Now this, to me, is a great outcome of our world becoming smaller – and more social. A fun, exciting and pretty great little world to live in right?