On April 17, 1961, the US launched what would end as a failed invasion of the Bay of Pigs, Cuba. Despite spite months of planning; insurgent planting; and collaboration between the CIA, Air Force, and Army, the endeavor was a complete and total failure. Largely at fault was a miscommunication regarding time zones. Key strategic aircraft were an hour late, a costly mistake that resulted in a quick end to the two-day conflict.
The word marathon comes from a composite of two Greek legends. The story is well known. In 490, Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, ran from the Battle of Marathon to Athens to beg for help, running the entire 26.2 miles without stopping and promptly collapsing after the announcement—26.2 miles to communicate a point that could easily be delivery nearly instantly today through almost any form of communication.
What I do each day is not nearly as dramatic as those two stories. But when I think about my career, I can pinpoint situations in which a simple missed email or misdialed number resulted in excess work or loss of opportunity. In each situation, it is not the lack of technology, but the use of the wrong form of technology for the context.
Some technologies allow for the more natural real-time communication that we require for meaningful collaboration. It’s not that technologies like email are ineffective; they have a purpose. But the purpose is reliant on the speed and usage of the technology. Email, for example, is the offspring of what we today call “snail mail.” You receive a closed message. You open the message, read it, review attachments, and respond. You then wait for someone to sort through their open messages to view the one from you, just like you would in opening the mailbox at home, only faster.
Communication is the conduit for collaboration. Today the world is communicating in a very different way than even just 10 years ago. We know this. We simply have to look at the technologies we are introducing into the workforce. Instant messengers are on nearly every machine. Employees will text each other using a cloud communication system or their own personal cell phones. Cloud collaboration products are taking over, allowing for teams to get the information and interaction they need to keep up in today’s ever faster and more dynamic workspace.
This technology is allowing for an awakening in the workforce, as disparate and local teams connected only by the technology that binds them are discovering the collaborative power of real-time communications. And as businesses are adapting a dynamic policy around the usage of these tools, we will continue to see a shift away from traditional business tools and toward a new breed of technology that can keep up with a changing world of work.
On November 10 (at 11am PT) our team will discuss the global trends and shifts in how teams work today. We will share experiences and help set the stage for what this shift means. Join us for this informative 30-minute presentation, “A Workforce Awakens: The Dawn of the Connected Workspace”, and learn how technology can empower smarter, more efficient and productive team collaboration.