How collaborative intelligence can drive business innovation
Ineffective meetings cost businesses worldwide $541 billion a year in lost productivity and employee time, according to Doodle’s 2019 State of the Meeting report. And according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, as much as 85% of employee time can be wasted on inefficient collaboration.
But the real cost of such decoupling goes even deeper than money.
In a disconnected organization, innovation comes to a standstill. The great insights from individuals and teams get trapped in silos. Employees feel suffocated – unheard of and disengaged. And with a record number of knowledge workers leaving their jobs in the Great Resignation, the risks of disconnection are more pressing than ever.
Simply put, your organization cannot afford to have a disconnected workforce.
Building a corporate culture where everyone is connected to their teams and has a shared purpose is fundamental to collaboration and innovation. Building such a culture requires applying collaborative intelligence (CI), a new systematic approach that connects teams to unlock their genius – bringing insights and ideas from possibility to reality.
The Five Principles of Collaborative Intelligence
In the spirit of making collaboration intentional and purposeful, CI consists of three main components. First, there are collaborative spaces, both physical and online, where teams can connect. Second, there is collaborative design, the practice of introducing intentionality and technology to help teams connect and innovate. And finally, collaboration insights enable organizations to measure and improve their collaboration and innovation. Together, these create a culture of collaboration where everyone feels connected and confident in doing great work.
Collaborative intelligence is based on five principles:
People are bigger together than apart.
Working in teams enhances the strength and value of individuals by coordinating a wider range of experience and expertise to address challenges and break down barriers to innovation and progress.
Collaboration, for example, is at the heart of innovation at GitLab, a development activities (DevOps) platform whose 1,500 employees were global and completely remote long before the pandemic. With such a range of time zones, backgrounds and specialties, developers and project managers (PMs) depend on free, cross-functional collaboration.
To ensure remote working doesn’t lead to remote trading, GitLab uses collaborative intelligence to create a brainstorming space where colleagues can easily come together and share ideas in a comfortable, inclusive, and safe environment. One team leader describes this as turning order takers into idea makers.
The starting point for any discussion starts with creating categories or ‘problems’. Then all stakeholders – designers, PMs, researchers, developers and technical managers – come together to collaborate on solutions. Broadening the ideation processes and including more team members means greater contribution, easier organization and faster progress at the start of each project.
Teams cannot exist without connection.
Creating an environment that provides employees with psychological safety, group engagement, and a common purpose forges a strong, productive employee culture.
Take, for example, the Human Centered Design (HCD) Institute, an in-house consulting firm at Emerson, a business automation company, that facilitates and documents workshops for the company’s 88,000 global employees.
Where it once struggled to ensure that all workshop participants felt seen and heard, HCD Institute now leverages collaborative intelligence to facilitate more effective and efficient workshops with a more engaging and inclusive array of expertise and ideas. CI also helped the group eliminate the tedious practice of digitizing sticky notes so it could deliver post-workshop documentation up to 80% faster.
Collaboration should not be left to chance.
Teamwork must be intentional. The acceleration of remote and hybrid work environments has eliminated the past passive strategy of reliance on water chiller dipity for innovation.
Effective collaboration relies on ways of working that encourage goal-oriented inclusion, secure communication and playful group interaction. Since Autodesk implemented collaborative intelligence to forge stronger bonds between executive teams, business leaders have found that their decision-making is not only faster, but better: CI helps these leaders create a single source of truth and insight that connects teams, practices, and locations. transcends.
Collaboration spaces empower connected teams.
A physical, digital, or hybrid common space encourages dynamic communication, transcending the limitations of email, documents, and chat for seamless collaboration in real-time or across time zones.
In an increasingly distributed, remote or hybrid business environment, a culture that encourages asynchronous collaboration is critical. At SAP, distributed teams use collaborative intelligence to work together without the constraints of a region’s working hours. And they made decisions twice as fast and improved talent onboarding and retention, while increasing efficiency across all practices.
Measuring collaboration is possible and essential.
Does working together really mean working better? The proof, as always, is in the data. Understanding how teams work together helps organizations determine how to solve problems most effectively, where their best ideas come from, and how to come up with more.
A Forrester report, “Total Economic Impact of IBM’s Design Thinking Practice,” concluded that applying this proven collaborative methodology helped IBM better understand and optimize the way its teams work together, resulting in a 50% reduction in the number of bugs and defects, $3.2 million saved through improved efficiency in agile development teams and $9.2 million in cost savings from streamlining processes.
Transform your workspace with Collaborative Intelligence
When an organization inadvertently silos and suppresses the creativity and innovation of its teams and individuals, it loses the growth potential that comes from its collective brainpower, innovation and morale.
But collaborative intelligence can help your organization unlock the collective genius of individual employees and teams and, in the process, fuse the full range of their innovation and problem-solving capabilities so you can grow and lead.
With the acceleration of remote and hybrid work, and a powerful and mobile talent market, collaborative intelligence has the potential to become your organization’s most essential and effective resource.
Learn more about collaborative intelligence.
This post How collaborative intelligence can drive business innovation
was original published at “https://hbr.org/sponsored/2022/04/how-collaborative-intelligence-can-boost-business-innovation”