05 May

Information Overload is why Collaboration is the New Black

Definition: A collaborative team is a group of individuals who share common beliefs and work towards common goals. Collaborative team members spend time discussing what they hope to accomplish as a team and individual goals for reaching that vision.

I have spent over 25 years of accessing files on a network and 23 years on corporate email. Now fast forward to today and the amount of information, the flow of data is a full time job. It’s overwhelming to wake up every morning at 6AM with 30 new unread emails to review. By the time I get to the office the amount of new emails have grown exponentially, meetings have filled up my calendar my to-do list has grown and deadlines that need to be met are looming. There are too many applications, content is everywhere and people think email is a collaboration tool. Email just leads to more chaos. Why are we trying to collaborate and use the same applications as we did 25 years ago?

There’s no getting around it, communication systems are a critical factor in the health and welfare of any organization. Even the very structure of an organization, including the physical space, should be designed to promote communication that is more effective.

Effective team collaboration without effective communication systems doesn’t exist. If collaboration were a card game, then communication would be the deck.

But the pressures on communication systems today are immense. The need for faster, higher-quality communication systems is increasing, and at least five forces are driving communication systems to falter:

  • Digital disruption drives immense urgency
  • Messaging fragmentation creates more noise than precision
  • Information fragmentation prevents a coherent picture of what’s needed
  • Information proliferation floods the system with more and more information
  • Distributed workforces erect physical, temporal, and cultural barriers

These five pressures are causing our current communication systems to break down.

Still, improving team collaboration remains a driving factor in many organizational choices. We feel the growing need to break down silos and work well together. While effective collaboration requires effective communication systems, other situations require effective communication, too. Here are just three: presenting, motivating, and decision making.

I have been utilizing Microsoft Teams because it brings everything together in a shared workspace where I can chat, meet, share files, and work with business apps. As an example, I have even created my own Team. This is a place I keep files to be reviewed, websites links and I am using apps to help me schedule and organize my to-do list.

By setting up different teams, it has cut down on needless emails going back and forth, the need to search my email for files and links and most importantly, it keeps everything I need to review and work on in one place. It saves all my conversations and all the content is easily searchable.

Communicate more effectively

Get your team on the same page with group chat, online meetings, calling, and web conferencing.

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Work better together

Collaborate on files with apps.

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Customize your workspace

Add in your favorite Microsoft apps and third-party services to keep the business moving forward.

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Keep your team secure

Get end-to-end security, administrative control, and compliance

Teams has not only increased my productivity and my employees’ productivity, but has also reduced angst, conflict and mis-communication, all the killers of effective collaboration. Do not be stuck in the early 90’s but instead disrupt the way you and your team collaborate.

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