Connect, Collaborate, Innovate

This new Lotus strategy brief (entitled ‘Build your collaboration strategy with IBM‘) has just been published, attempting to explain why organisations should look to combine collaborative technology with cultural change in order to develop an IT strategy that delivers real business results.

New Lotus Strategy paper

It starts by explaining that innovation is essential in today’s marketplace, and that collaboration inside and outside the firewall helps to drive it:

Innovation improves business outcomes, and successful businesses are pursuing more collaborative models to make it happen. According to the 2008 IBM Global CEO Study, 71 percent of CEOs plan to place greater focus on external partnerships and collaboration that extends beyond the traditional walls of the enterprise.

The benefits of a cohesive collaboration strategy are clear. Businesses can better leverage their distributed talent, find the best expertise at the right time and gain deeper insight through better relationships with customers and partners. Good ideas develop and spread faster, operations become more efficient, and companies can find new ways to differentiate.

The right collaboration strategy creates a virtuous cycle that helps people connect, collaborate and innovate. People connect to information, processes and each other to collaborate more effectively and innovate more extensively. As people connect in new and richer ways, collaboration improves, kicking off greater innovation. Ultimately, the collaboration strategy helps build a deeply connected enterprise with a collaborative business model and a culture of innovation.
and more with partners and even competitors.’”

After 4 pages explaining why collaboration is so vital, it concludes by outlining the real benefits that can spring from a coherent collaboration strategy:

IBM can help you combine technology and cultural change to develop a collaboration strategy that is designed to produce better business outcomes:
        •        Increased profits
        •        Lower operating costs
        •        Stronger client and partner relationships
        •        A more adaptive workforce
        •        Greater responsiveness to change and opportunity
        •        The ability to innovate by tapping into collective talent
        •        An increased ability to leverage and preserve tacit knowledge

No matter where your organization is in its journey toward greater connection, collaboration and innovation, IBM can assist you in developing a collaboration strategy that helps you leverage your existing investments, take advantage of innovations in technology and implement cultural change to create an enterprise of the future.

I think it’s a good paper, and one that is well worth sharing.  The terminology is straightforward, the rationale is clear, and the business benefits are well articulated.

I particularly like this schematic:

connect collaborate innovate

It reminds me a lot of a graph I presented 2-3 years ago which I tagged the ‘Collaborative Continuum’ – i.e. how a business can develop a collaboration strategy and infrastructure that grows with the organisation, becoming deeper entrenched in the business culture and deriving tangible business benefits.  I also like the ‘Connect, Collaborate, Innovate’ line and can see it being used a lot in the next 6 months – it could even be a tagline to some highprofile Lotus TV advertising (hint, hint!).

I registered both collaborateinnovate.com and innovatecollaborate.com a year or so ago – perhaps it’s time to do something with them!

(Thanks to Chris Pepin for the link)

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!