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COLLABORATE TO GAIN THE COMPETITIVE EDGE

The Economist Intelligence Unit's Foresight 2020 research identifies five key trends for the coming decades, two of these, globalisation and knowledge management, are set to have a significant impact on the way we work.

Imagine this scenario:


It is 9.00 GMT and at a head office in Madrid a team member receives an urgent phone call from a UK client regarding a problem with their software. The Madrid office logs the issue and emails the offices in London. The fix is complicated so the UK office works on it all day and then passes it to a specialist partner who is based in Washington. Once Washington has provided input they hand it to the Sydney office, who have the problem fixed by 8am GMT. Each team member works their 8 hour day, and by 'chasing the sun' around the globe they manage to deliver a 24hour service to their client. In addition, the solution offered is a more comprehensive fix as it has had input by a number of experts.

Those organisations that mobilise to collaborate across geographical, functional and temporal boundaries, harnessing their collective knowledge, are likely to gain the competitive edge in the business world of the future.

Two of every three Fortune 500 companies' employees work virtually.

Virtual collaboration allows businesses to sell and deliver services and products around the globe in the most efficient way. Whilst intra-organisation collaboration, working across functions and countries, is common, the future will be about inter-organisation collaboration, bringing to together partners, suppliers, vendors, specialists, customers, those that attain this will find they gain the competitive edge. However, those organisations striving to maximise on these opportunities, have found that collaboration is about more than state of the art technologies. To many this is a fundamentally new way of working that requires a well informed strategy to tackle the problems inherent to collaborative virtual working.

Considerations include using appropriate technology for the task, effective e-communication, distance team building, knowledge sharing, and working across cultures. Additionally, research has shown that the way in which virtual teams are formed, and early leadership is undertaken, predicts subsequent trust, satisfaction and performance of the team. Organisations looking to reduce overheads can leverage services designed to meet the needs of collaborative teams, including, serviced offices and virtual offices.

Business psychologists Bluestone Talent Management can help your business evolve, providing people development solutions that capitalise on the future. For information on our virtual/collaborative working programmes, including virtual leadership development and effective team collaboration:-

Contact: Rosalie @ Bluestone Talent Management on +44 (0)20 8334 8082
Website: www.bluestonetm.com
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