The first thing was, the term Collaborative Enterprise is very interesting and I think a bit in terms of really six attributes. One is a collaboration where people do joint work for a shared purpose. There is some collaborative work product. It may be a contract. It may be a product. It may be something where people actually come together in a truer sense, work for a single shared purpose.
The second, is cooperation, which is coordination of established activities, a planning, allocated including planning, allocation of resources, handling exceptions, responding requests for help and advice. And, that’s not necessarily working for a shared purpose in the same sense, people may have different activities, different things to focusing on, but for almost everything of interest in a large company, it’s not one group that’s entirely responsible for the product. It may be cooperation with people in manufacturing, it may be cooperation which spans activities and organizations which aren’t necessarily thought of as the “collaborative” focus of a new product. You have to be able to manufacture it. The people on sales have going to have to understand it, and they may actually have some insights to bring into the process. So the whole notion of cooperation, I think is a different aspect that is important.
Next issue is the socialization aspect of the Collaborative Enterprise. And that’s meeting an understanding in becoming comfortable talking and working with people, you may not have traditionally done in an enterprise. That includes, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. That’s really the sort of socialization that says I may be sitting… I worked for Metagraphics, for example, which is a 6.000 persons company, but the ability to meet and understand the people in Europe who hadn’t met me and never had met person to person, who may be working on something that I find interesting and valuable. And becoming comfortable enough with them through techniques like this [Skype] or use of social software say “I see you’re doing this, have you considered that suggestion?” So the whole socialization aspect of a collaborative enterprise I think is very interesting. And again, it’s not the “we’re getting together and doing this joint collaborative project” but it’s an important enabler of that. And particularly when you start talking about working with customers, or working with suppliers. Right? There would be conversations that go deeper into both organizations than you typically say.