Cisco Shares How To Become A More Collaborative Organization



The Collaboration Imperative is a totally cool book.  If for no other reason, check out the book for its layout, graphics and incredible readability.  It may just be the model for many books to come – full of 60-second end-of-chapter wraps, bold graphics, Q&A’s with real-world business leaders, case studies, and lots of ways to test yourself along the way.  The only thing I would recommend adding are QR codes throughout the book to take readers to online videos via their Smartphones.

I recommend, however, that you also take the time to read the book by Cisco employees Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese.  It offers a wealth of executive strategies for unlocking an organization’s true potential through achieving the greatest level of collaborative success possible within that organization.

The authors explain that in organizations where collaboration excels, its employees:
  • Communicate openly across business functions and departments.
  • Are always aware of the company’s objectives and priorities, even as they rapidly evolve.
  • Perform multiple different roles during the day.
  • Self-select for projects based on interest, expertise and importance to the business.
  • Locate needed information in real time.
  • Work as mobile and distributed participants—even beyond the walls of the company—as partners, customers, contractors and suppliers.
The benefits of a collaborative environment are:
  • Employees contribute more important ideas and experiences.
  • Shortened product development and sales cycle times.
  • Increased productivity.
  • Increased speed between strategy to execution.
  • Saved money.
The authors show readers how to become a more collaborative organization through:
  • Culture
  • Process  
  • Technology 
And, they explain that leaders within the organization must change their style from command and control to coordinate and cultivate.

Other takeaways for me from the book include:
  • Good ideas can come from anywhere, and the more voices you have, the better.
  • The conceptual thinker brings ideas to the table and the analytical thinker brings details that round those ideas in reality. 
  • If you are not genuinely pained by the risk involved in your strategic choices, it’s not much of a strategy. 
  • Trust anchors every successful collaborative team. 
As background, Ron Ricci is the vice president of corporate positioning at Cisco and is also the co-author of the book, Momentum: How Companies Become Unstoppable Market Forces.

Carl Wiese is vice president of Cisco’s collaboration sales.

All proceeds from the sale of the book are being shared equally by the Bill Wilson Center and the Stanford Cancer Institute.

Thank you to the book’s publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.

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