Tools and Strategies to Improve Collaboration
Source: Ms. Career Girl
As your head content writer is waking up in beautiful, chilly Ontario, your marketing manager is nearing the end of her day in London. The two need to talk about their latest project, though — the deadline is fast approaching. With online tools as well as mobile devices, your writer can chat in real time with your marketer while she’s making her morning coffee, then leave notes on the project to be picked up by the rest of the team later in the day.
Businesses today, from agriculture to tech, need collaboration tools and techniques that are just as flexible as the teams they serve. Collaboration is also important on an intradepartmental basis, as communication between departments is essential to meet broader organizational objectives. With so many learning styles and workflow preferences, finding the best way for team members to collaborate is essential so that nobody gets left behind.
Theory of Multiple Intelligences
It’s now believed that there are as many as nine different intelligences, going way beyond the basic measurement of IQ most of us are familiar with. What this means is that people process information differently and learn differently
For example, a person with bodily-kinesthetic intelligence may prefer to work with their hands or manipulate objects. They have a strong mind-body connection. A dancer is a good example of a person with this sort of intelligence.
The type of collaboration tools you should use can directly relate to your team’s strengths. Let’s say you’re a choreographer and you want your group to learn a new dance. Would you send them all a message on Slack and then have them read a text-only Google Doc that outlines the steps? Of course not! You’d send them a YouTube video of the choreography, or you’d have them all come in to the studio together to work on it.
How the Fair Trade Industry (and Other Enormous Groups) Collaborate
Fair trade refers to the conditions that a product is sourced or produced under. It prioritizes the economic stability, human rights, and health of producers. For the consumer, that means that the fair trade consumable you buy wasn’t made in a sweatshop or the fair trade coffee you drink in the morning wasn’t farmed by an underpaid worker.
Producers involved in the fair trade market have a complex collaboration issue on their hands. Since there isn’t any specific certification for everyone to meet, change is a homegrown and group effort. One technique is to hold large meetings where fair trade-associated groups gather. Instead of overlapping strategies, each group is given one area of fair trade to work on. For example, one group may find out how farmers can get certified to offer fair trade produce in one specific outlet, like Whole Foods.
If meetings like this are held online instead of in a physical space, the “goalfest” style of collaboration is a good option. This saves everyone the trouble of having to reconvene simply for status updates, something that’s extremely hard to do when such a large group of people are collaborating. Everyone can have access to the same Google Sheet, which they’ll update with the goals they’re working toward. One column will be dedicated to what was learned during the process. This tells everyone what did and didn’t work, something that can help inform other groups working on similar goals.
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