Author: Lance Frew
One great aspect of working at MCPc is that we're regularly interacting with hundreds of clients. They're from all over the country and are of all different sizes, industries, cultures and missions. Despite these differences, the organizations that are most successful have certain characteristics in common that we can all learn from. Here are some of the lessons our customers have taught us through our shared experiences.
The IT departments that are most effective have a crystal-clear understanding of what is at the heart of their organization - the mission, vision and values. They make sure the people, both internal and external, are aligned with these.
Strategy is important, obviously. But strategies need to be consistent with the mission, vision, and values of the organization. Given that today's IT departments touch literally every facet of an organization, we see the best-performing organizations have IT departments whose strategy never loses sight of what is core to the organization.
When was the last time you thought of your printer in "Life or Death" terms?
For some, that could be literally true. We work with many wonderful healthcare providers such as University Hospitals (UH) headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. When they looked for a partner to work with them on their print management solution they made it perfectly clear that they wanted to drive cost savings AND improve patient care - the latter being the most important.
The scorecard UH uses to continually evaluate our performance measures both cost and the levels of service their caregivers are able to maintain. The clear alignment they provided makes sure their people internally and the people of MCPc are all working to achieve the right balance.
Questions to Ask:
- How well do you and your staff understand what is at the heart of your organization?
- Do your partners understand it as well?
- Is the message being constantly reinforced?
- Are they behaving in a way that is consistent with your culture and values?
- When you review their performance, are you talking to them about how well they are extending your organization's mission?
Are your people (internal and external) performing effectively or just working the status quo? Help drive their success by aligning their performance with your organization's mission and reward them when they get it right.
What have your experiences taught you about the power of alignment?
Lance Frew is the President and Chief Financial Officer at MCPc and helps guide the organization in achieving its strategic vision as an industry-leading technology products and solutions provider. Connect with Lance on LinkedIn.
Author: Jason Taylor
As a sales professional, I regularly meet with customers to discuss how they are leveraging technology to create strategic benefit and competitive advantage. While most business professionals agree that effective collaboration increases organizational agility and efficiency, many are unclear what steps need to be taken to positively affect collaboration on a systemic basis.
Webster's Dictionary defines collaboration as "to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor." In today's global environment, the convergence of secure voice, data and video communications has been leveraged to accelerate sales and delivery cycles, regardless of time or geographic location. But it isn't simply about converged communications infrastructure, as collaboration is ultimately driven by your organization's corporate culture, management practices, business goals and values.
The Benefits of Collaboration are Clear
Organizations that successfully adopt new collaborative strategies:
- Move faster
- Make smarter decisions
- Draw from a deeper well of knowledge
- Operate more effectively across time and distance barriers
So, what other technologies represent collaboration? In fact, many of today's current technical hyperboles (cloud computing, social networking, crowd sourcing, workflow/document management, borderless infrastructure, mobile workforce, virtual presence) all have their roots in collaboration.
Taken individually, each of these technologies represents some limited value to an organization from a collaboration perspective. Taken as a group and coordinated to create a strategy, these technologies can be game changing for businesses that employ them properly.
According to a Q4/2008 Forrester research survey, 37% of enterprise and SMB organizations indicated they were working to develop a formal collaboration strategy in 2009. Twelve months have passed since this survey was preformed, and I still see many organizations operating without a collaboration strategy. It is the duty of IT professionals and corporate management to work together and understand how these new technologies can dramatically impact business profitability.
Resolve to Collaborate in the New Year
This takes hard work, as most of these technologies are relatively new and in many cases can be hard to measure from an ROI perspective. At the end of the day, there is an element of faith involved in the construction of a collaboration strategy. The belief that a well-coordinated collaboration infrastructure will empower an organization to run faster, better and cheaper goes a long way to making this technology effective.
Whether you have faith or not, most technology professionals believe that sometime in the near future, those organizations that proactively manage and synchronize the appropriate use of collaboration technologies with sound business practices will gain a competitive advantage over those who do not.
So... What is your collaboration strategy, and how is it working for your business?
Jason Taylor is Senior Vice President of Sales Operations and in the past has served as an IT consultant for several major enterprise-level organizations throughout Northeast Ohio. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn.
Are you a business leader in Northeast Ohio interested in learning more about collaboration, cloud computing and other advanced technologies for your organization? Join us for the Modern Technology Lessons Summer 2011 Roundtable Series. This three-session series includes Path to the Cloud (7/19), Mobile Device Explosion (8/10) and Intuitive Collaboration (9/29). All three events will take place at our future headquarters, 1801 Superior Ave. in downtown Cleveland. You can attend all three or any combination of sessions. Click here to learn more and register.