Made for Collaboration
They think as a group. They produce together. Yes, it’s also individual efforts, but it’s the combined work of the group that counts. Good groups find synergistic effects – the total result of the group is greater than the sum of them all. It’s obvious, to get these results, they need to find good ways to work together.
Also the work patterns and tool set they use need to reflect the way they work. They need to be collaborative “in nature” – at it’s basis. Here is where we have some way to go still. Most Office tools groups use were made for personal productivity, not group productivity. Collaborative features come as (later) add-ons.
Groups should start with a collaborative mind set, and so should tools they use. Starting any other way is counter-productive. Personal productivity tools do not promote group productivity. However, if the whole environment start with group productivity as the basis, then both mind set and tool set will play together. We know that results will come sooner, not only because they have an environment to produce as a group, but because the environment will also be simpler. Let me explain:
When we realize that collaboration and group productivity is a key to performance , then we will design the environment with this as a basis. All the different teams will have a common collaborative platform consisting of both common mind “power”, and common tool “power” for the same collaborative functions that all teams require. That way we can simplify for a common tool setup and way of doing collaboration.
Setting up optimal environments for group productivity has been the advice and focus of organizational advisers like Peter Drücker and collaboration pioneers like Doug Engelbart who aimed at creating environment to support the needs of high performing, problem solving teams. Teams are made for collaboration and so should also their environment.
Only by identifying some basic and natural characteristics of high performing working together teams and putting sufficient value/emphasis on them to the point that proper foundational patterns and tools are constructed, will we see that the potential of group productivity can be realized.