Posted by: Ornella Farrugia
on Tue 21 Nov

At November’s Innovation Day, we welcomed Dr. Nicola Millard from BT Global Services to share her insights on the importance of collaboration and how we can do it effectively in a digital age.

Technology has revolutionised our workplace, offering increasing options for people as to how, where and when they work. We are seeing a rise in the “shoulder bag worker”, who can fit their office in a bag and work from anywhere.

This flexibility and control over the way employees do their work can be very beneficial on productivity, motivation and wellbeing, but the risk of fragmentation also increases with that. There lies the collaboration conundrum: while the individual levels of productivity may go up, cohesion and trust between employees goes down.

According to Dr. Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight & Futures at BT Global Services, most organisations don’t pay enough attention in solving the collaboration conundrum. However, collaboration is core to business success.

So how do we bring people back together to collaborate in a digital world? Consider these key insights taken from the Innovation Day:

  • Organisations should include a collaboration angle in their strategy and, therefore, consider new ways to stimulate and reward collaboration among their employees and keep it going.
  • Future leaders need to be able to create a purpose or a common goal in order to collaborate with each other effectively.
  • Employees’ wants have now changed but not everybody wants the same: one size doesn’t fit all. So make sure your employees are aware of the choices available to them and enable them to connect under the same umbrella.
  • Keep in mind that technology can help solve the collaboration problem but it’s not necessarily the solution. The key is to find the right balance between all the digital tools which can be used and how or when.

These are just some key highlights taken from November’s Innovation Day. Each month, clients of the Innovation Programmes receive a full ACT report, capturing the guest expert’s research, the implications and next steps for leaders to apply back in their team and organisation.

Next month, clients will discover the science behind changing people’s minds. For more information, please view the Innovation Day page.

Source: Millard, N. (2017) ‘The Collaboration Conundrum: Hot to build digital trust in virtualised team’, KnowledgeBrief Innovation Day Presentation, 8 November.


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