Channeliser » Discussions » What is driving the growth of “Team-working” systems?

  • Posted April 26, 2018

    What is driving the growth of “Team-working” systems? Is it age, attitude or ad hoc working ?

    The recent survey by Microsoft (1) implies that it is a mixture of all these factors, not least of which is the increasing number of freelance workers. It appears that our need and desire to “chat” and “Conference-in” is being exacerbated by our feeling of isolation in this new “normal” way of working as freelancers, as it removes the number of human interactions we have each day.  

    However, when it comes to those interactions, we prefer to make them short and sweet and that is also facilitated by digital communications rather than actual meetings or telephone dialogue which can inevitably become protracted. 

    The survey demonstrated that it is not just millennials and the Z generation that like to communicate in different ways, (let’s not forget us oldies have been using text and IM since millennials were born).  All generations increasingly use social tools and therein lies an important justification for managing communication with trading partners or channel partners differently.  Gone are the days when you can expect your partners to spend hours digging around in your partner portal to find what they need on their own – push is no longer acceptable. Community and sharing is what is now expected for partnerships between companies or collaboration within companies.  

    This creates a large opportunity for software or platforms that facilitates both internal collaboration or trading communities, both of which are set to grow exponentially. In both situations there is a need for solution suites that facilitate this because according to the McKinsey Global Institute, 72% of companies are looking to adopt some form of social tool.  

    So, for the generic team-working and collaboration tools, along came Slack, Trello, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Workplace and a plethora of other tools, all vying for the top slot. And there are some high stakes being played out as some of these protagonists have very deep pockets. 

    And for the trading partnership communities there is also a growth of personalised or industry specific solutions where you find a community of like minded businesses looking to work together, (for Accountants, lawyers, finance and with Channeliser for the IT industry).  

    Many of these platforms can now show examples of productivity gains, increased team-working, inclusion, sharing and generally expound the virtues.  But, we need to remember that collaborating and teamwork are a skill and just doing them online doesn’t make it simple and easier by default. 

    There was a reason a huge industry emerged for “Team Building” activities; bonding and problem solving, corporate away-days and the like as it taught individuals the value of working together to get things done. Removing this learning process and expecting teams to simply function and achieve goals, (albeit online), without supervision is misguided.  To work effectively they still need leadership and good manager – which in itself is an art form. 

    Their use is undoubtedly advantageous but using social platforms or collaboration tools needs governance; they need curation and management to ensure that content is current, that collaboration is valuable, that tasks are achieved, discussions are relevant, and everything is kept within the parameters and working boundaries defined. 

    Then they become a safe, effective and useful place to be and work.  A bit like the office really, just online.

    How would you recommend that "governance" takes place constructively? 


    Reference: Survey results from Microsoft