The importance of collaboration is very much around making better choices
A changing workforce
Generations have always been wary of those that came after them, but no generation has represented as significant a shift as millennials. By 2020 they’ll make up 50 per cent of workers and their experiences represent a shift in thinking from generations gone by. According to Boris, they’re tech-savvy, used to a fast-paced environment, hungry for opportunity and, most importantly, keen to collaborate.
And it’s collaboration where the most benefit can be felt by business: technology is facilitating conversations between more people, leading to better outcomes and leaving old processes that relied on one person providing an entire answer behind.
The wisdom of the group
This old way of working, where one person is relied upon to make huge business decisions outside of the collective is outmoded, according to Boris.
“The importance of collaboration is very much around making better choices,” says Boris.
He says it’s of key importance to leverage the strength of the collective. Having multiple opinions leads to new ideas and limits blind spots, as well as connecting ideas together that may have been disparate previously.
At the core, by bringing together different perspectives and skillsets, better outcomes are achieved more efficiently.
So where should businesses look when it comes to fostering collaboration? There are probably two or three things that have to come together to foster collaboration, according to Boris.
“The first part starts with an attitude… the culture of recognising that we can do better by collaborating. And there’s a lot of behavioural and cultural elements in that.
“The second part of it is actual environments. How do we foster an environment that’s a safe place? And that could be simple things like a design of an office
“[And] at the end of the day all of us are brought together by technology. So having laptops and smartphones connected to the internet, that stuff connects the attitude, the behaviour, with the work environment.”
By identifying where gaps are in promoting collaboration, businesses can begin to evolve or invest in areas that will help facilitate change.
It’s important to recognise that while “fostering collaboration” sounds like the sort of corporate-speak familiar to boardrooms across the country, it’s an ideal that should be strived towards by businesses across the country.
Boris says Telstra's DOT (Digital Office Technology)™ can help grow business' collaborative capacity.
He suggests that small businesses could use DOT to "enjoy a sophisticated collaboration capability that’s integrated with their mobile experience and integrated with their broadband experience, [as well as the ability to] connect to the rest of the world.”
For bigger organisations, Boris suggests turning to experts to determine a solution that’s most suited to their needs.
“If the particular business prefers more a premise-based solution, there’s a whole range of partners through our programs such as Telstra Business Systems.”