One of the biggest challenges facing enterprises today is the need to accelerate the ability of team members to access, share, and interact with important content and information. This becomes exceptionally critical in large organizations where subject matter experts and key field personnel are increasingly working in separate silos that inhibit their ability to share knowledge and feedback with each other. The inability to interact within and across teams and roles can hinder the development of new initiatives and disrupt the speed to market at a time when lost minutes can easily translate into lost profits and reduced growth. For this reason, enterprises must develop and adopt a strategy that opens up the organization to the free flow of information.
To a certain degree, the process of becoming more open and transparent will require a change in corporate culture, especially for organizations with a history of withholding or at least inhibiting the flow of information. It is important for these organizations to understand that an open, transparent enterprise will work to maximize the ability to:
- Share all the information the receiver wants or needs, and not just the information that the sender is willing to share.
- Enable people to have conversations where questions can be asked and answered in open and honest ways, creating mutual understanding.
- Remove any barriers that hinder people from accessing the information they could need to be better at their jobs.
- Make people and their skills, knowledge and ideas visible and accessible to all their colleagues.
A lack of openness and transparency can quickly lead to:
- Unnecessary duplication of effort
- Faulty decisions based on incomplete information
- Impeding innovation and creative energy
- Loss of competitive edge
Leverage Social Networking Tools to drive transparency and collaboration
It is likely that 10 years ago we would not be having this conversation, not so much because enterprises in previous decades weren’t interested in fostering collaboration and sharing information, but because the tools didn’t exist to manage or facilitate the process. The age of social media has changed all of this. Today, everyone in your organization has had experience with some aspect of social media. Even though some may still decry its intrusion, everyone understands the way it works, and as soon as they discover that these tools can create real value for them and ease their workload, adoption comes easy.
For this reason, a lot of organizations have been leveraging Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter on an ad hoc basis to drive collaboration and openness. However, salesforce.com has significantly refined this process for business by creating tools like Salesforce Chatter that work seamlessly within Salesforce CRM. These tools allow team members to interact, collaborate, conduct research, provide feedback and coaching, and drive innovation by leveraging the wealth of real-time data and other information stored and regularly updated in Salesforce CRM. Once teams learn how to leverage the potential of Salesforce CRM through tools like Salesforce Chatter, openness and collaboration, even across continents, can occur just as naturally as it does over lunch or at the water cooler, accelerating productivity and innovation, and producing the competitive edge your organization needs to ignite growth in challenging times.