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New Forms of Collaboration

Yesterday I was at an Office 2007 and Sharepoint launch event of a Microsoft partner agency, for my job. At first there were high-flying slogans about a colourful future with “wow”-effect by a Microsoft official (“Empower the people with the right tools and softwares and there is nothing they cannot do…”), decorated with video-clips (WMF streaming), which didn’t run that well as the promised future. After a presentation of functionalities (the best presentations are not much usefull when you forget that beamers have other colour resolutions than laptop screens, and a big part of the texts wasn’t readable) and a practical example of complex group co-ordination, there was a fascinating talk about “Increasing Productivity in Information Work” by a collaboration researcher:

The number of people who don’t collaborate face to face has been tremendously increasing during the last few years, and they had done researches on the impact of these changes on new ways of collaboration at distance. I don’t want to go into details, only 2-3 thoughts:

A few years ago everyone was happy with more features available in a program, today the difficulty is to sort out and reduce the complexity to what is really relevant to the people. This sorting-out is mostly done with our head and not by the softwares available.

Most workers in our society are brain workers, but this is nowhere noted in the assets of an enterprise. A major part of our business activities isn’t organised along the needs of creative work, but of a work environment structured differently, in old patterns. In the knowledge work 90% is not visible and only 10% physically visible work.

For the tremendous changes going on in society new forms of collaboration are needed. I was thinking of the collaboration not only at work, but also in the different good-will activities I’m in. Our monthly Lunar Messenger for example, a small project, involves people not only here in Switzerland, but also in Germany (the French translation), Mexico and the US. I’m working in other projects involving also Belgian, Spanish, Argentinian co-workers. It needs quite a lot of co-ordination and brainwork, but the outcome is fascinating, and all are working for free. All this is a group collaboration going on at distance. So also “Good Will in Action” on Cooperation.


In collaboration good networking is important. Cables, Bhutan

2 Responses to “New Forms of Collaboration”

  1. Sharepointer Says:

    Funnily enough I was at a similar event yesterday too (in Pfäffikon).

  2. Administrator Says:

    My event was in Berne. At my office we are about to introduce Sharepoint…. But this here is my private story.

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