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How fast does your information flow?

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The way information flows through your business is of fundamental importance if you hope to become a more social and adaptive enterprise.  Nowhere is this more so than when working with your external collaboration network.  After all, a major reason for collaborating with external parties is for the knowledge and insight they can bring to your operations.

There are risks however.  Risks that threaten to hamstring your efforts to get the most out of your collaboration.  If you’d like to read a little more on the topic of transparency then I outline five distinct types in a post from earlier this month.  In this post however I’d like to look specifically at how poor information transparency can hamper your collaboration.

Siloed insights

It’s quite common for most external partnerships to be owned by a particular department or team, whether that is a functional team or a geographic one.  Often, that’s a perfectly natural arrangement, as the collaboration directly affects that team, so they’re the best people to manage that relationship.

The organization as a whole however will only derive optimum benefit from collaborating externally when the knowledge and insights from these relationships is aggregated and shared throughout the enterprise.  Only then will the organization begin to appreciate the full extent of the relationships they’re having externally and begin to operate in a more strategic manner.

Of course, this kind of situation isn’t only occurring with collaboration networks.  I’m sure it’s a situation you’re all too familiar with if you’ve worked in any medium to large organization.  Far be it from me to belittle the size of this problem therefore, but it is something that needs to be overcome if you’re to achieve the best results.

This is especially crucial in collaboration networks with a dominant hub and spoke style, as it’s in just such a network that each collaboration is likely to be separate from the rest of the organization.  People might even think that their partner is very different to those in other parts of the business, so there’s no need to share any information.

It’s crucial therefore that if you want to get the best out of your collaboration network that you explore as early as possible how easy and rapidly knowledge from those partnerships can be spread throughout your organization.

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