05 Jul More Collaboration In Business?
There is no arguing about whether the internet has changed communication. And one of its most resounding impacts is enhancing our capacity for collaboration. We know the value of solid teamwork at GillespieHall. More broadly, our society has now made just about everything crowdsourced, open source, public: remedies and recipes, fundraising and focus groups, languages and life hacks, creative work and code.
The Interdisciplinary Economy
For centuries, crowdsourcing has been used by government and business to solicit new ideas. As internet and smartphone access becomes increasingly widespread, participation in problem-solving becomes faster and more inclusive – and the results of that collaboration are more accessible to the masses.
Perhaps it is the influence of this technology, or a cosmic shift driving us to work more closely together… either way the collective economy is taking over offline as well.
Companies increasingly look to partner, share resources and cross-pollinate ideas. “Where 10 years ago companies were incredibly protective of their IP,” says Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development at the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, “they are now seeking out opportunities to collaborate to come up with new solutions.”
Trade associations and academic institutions are focusing more and more on creating opportunities for interdisciplinary problem-solving. (One great example of this: Avkin, the product of a nursing-engineering-theater collaboration, is improving the holistic experience of healthcare.) Incubator and coworking spaces are expanding in square footage – and attracting new audiences, including even large, well-established corporations.
Social Gets Even More Group-Centric
Meanwhile, public social media platforms are also gravitating toward group connections and communication. In Pew’s recent study of technology’s impact on well-being, human connection was the top benefit named by experts.
Our most recent guerrilla focus groups tell us why users keep their Facebook accounts: to maintain group membership and communication, find out about events and connect over common interests.
LinkedIn recently began heavily promoting the use of hashtags, to both content creators and consumers. This is the latest tool enhancing their driving principle of connecting users based on their topical interests and opportunities for partnership and collaboration. (There’s that word again!)
Snapchat, meanwhile, has been aggressively expanding and refining its group connectivity features. Group chat provides a rich experience for groups of friends to be in constant communication; Our Story allows users to connect with others at the same events or in the same geographic area.
As faster and more specific communication technologies are developed, we can become even more closely connected to our fellow humans around the world. We can now more effectively collaborate on developing business solutions with professionals on the other side of the globe – and right around the corner. And socially, even the most far-flung posses can stay close through technology designed and refined to keep our circles tight.
In what ways have you seen business and communication become more group-oriented? Do you agree that our society is functioning more collaboratively?
GillespieHall Director of Digital Strategy & Operations ◆ Consumer Behaviorist ◆ Digital PR & Marketing Strategist