In Part 1 of this blog series, we provided a high-level view of the challenges and opportunities available to companies related to collaboration. Especially as workforces become more and more distributed due to globalization and other forces, effective tools, processes, and cultures of collaboration become extremely important to the livelihood of modern companies. VMware tools and services can help promote the type of collaboration so crucial to companies today.
In this entry, we’ll focus on the aspect of collaboration that is the most powerful and most resistant to change: culture.
What is a Culture of Collaboration?
Culture is the most impactful component of a truly collaborative enterprise. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult to alter. Culture is like the extra power that makes a symphony so much better than the sum of its parts. If all the players are well-coordinated, the impact of a musical piece is multiplied to drive a powerful outcome. If the musicians are not well-coordinated or not paying attention to the conductor, the result is significantly worse and difficult to listen to. What’s more – one instrument playing off-tempo can throw off the entire symphony.
Negative culture is the same way; it is extremely contagious. Once embedded, a negative culture is difficult to fully change. That’s why it’s so important to detect and address these issues quickly.
Hallmarks of a Collaborative Culture
So, what are the hallmarks of great organizational culture?
- A collaborative culture is one of positivity. Negativity drives employees inward. Positivity energizes employees to naturally share what they are doing both formally and informally. “Positivity” does not imply looking the other way at faults in the system as highlighted in the next item.
- A collaborative culture is one of continuous improvement. It takes energy to notice little imperfections and be willing to take action to solve them. If your company has a collaborative culture, employees will naturally take the extra step to help solve problems together. Without such a culture, issues are always “someone else’s problem.” Those small problems eventually add up and become major issues.
- A collaborative culture has the tools necessary to drive change. If your company polled its employees with the question, “How well do our company’s internal tools support your day-to-day work life?” what would be the result? Many firms don’t give their workers the proper tools to make their jobs efficient. This causes people to become worn down by mundane and inefficient tasks. “I can’t spare any time to collaborate because I am so busy!” becomes a common refrain. Workspace ONE Access can massively improve the efficiency of your employees by streamlining identity and access to corporate applications. Workspace ONE UEM can make employees significantly more efficient by making all of their resources available on mobile devices in a secure manner.
- A collaborative culture is driven and illustrated by its leaders. In the film Remember the Titans, football player Julius Campbell is asked by his team captain why some team members have such a poor attitude. He responded, “Attitude Reflects Leadership.” If you feel your employees have a poor attitude and a negative culture, take a long look in the mirror. Do you remain calm under pressure? Do you take your stress out on your employees? Do you utilize the tools and processes you’ve put into place first and foremost? Employees look to their leaders to determine how to act. If your behavior doesn’t reflect the culture you’d like to drive, the best place to start is with yourself. If you are not utilizing the collaboration tools your organization has put into place, what message does that send your employees or peers?
Still need help deciding how to drive collaboration in your organization using Workspace ONE? VMware Professional Services offers services to help you get started. VMware Transformation Consulting is a team of senior experts proficient at helping companies drive real operational and organizational changes using VMware technologies. Please contact your VMware sales representative for more information.
- Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results by Morten T. Hansen, 2009.
- Yakin, Boaz, director. Remember the Titans. Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 2000.
About the Author
Roy D. McCord is a Staff Architect with VMware’s Professional Services Engineering team. He is responsible for architecting, building, and maintaining VMware’s End User Computing global portfolio of professional services offerings. Roy has previously worked as a team leader within the Workspace ONE consulting team and helped to build the practice from the ground up. He holds BS, MS, and MBA degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Roy resides in Alpharetta, Georgia