My little guy was sick the other day and, like many parents, that meant I could forego a shower, makeup or otherwise look presentable much later than usual. I’m no stranger from working in my pajamas because I’ve been able to “work from home” for over a decade. As a matter of fact, some of my best work has occurred while sipping coffee, munching on a cookie (they are good sources of protein) and propped up with pillows.
What about you?
Where do you get your best ideas?
Where do you have the best conversations?
Where are you able to best connect your work with others?
If you’re anything like me, your desk is not this place.
Perhaps it’s the break room, or maybe it’s that part of the hallway that connects your office with those of your colleagues. It could be that space down by the coffee kiosk…you know the one with the stand-up table over by the window. Shoot, maybe it’s from living room with your cat snuggling up with you or perhaps it’s your favorite restaurant down the street.
My point is this:
We can’t control when creativity hits!
We can’t make the “ah ha” moments occur only during our scheduled meetings.
We can’t have great discussions when we’re not inspired.
However, traditional means and methods of collaborating with our colleagues expect us to. Let’s build an agenda, have a meeting, serve enough coffee and pastries, use plenty of flip chart paper and post it notes and pray we can walk out of the room with ideas, solutions and actions plans.
Twenty years ago, that may have worked.
Ten years ago, it became painful (mental, physical, financial and sanity resources be damned) but we still tried to make it work.
Today, it is simply not working.
Collaborative technology is here. It’s been here for years and getting better with age.
It’s not fancy; it’s just super cool.
It’s not “just” for boardrooms; it works best when it’s put in your informal shared spaces.
It’s not complicated; most of it is as intuitive as your phone.
It’s not expensive; compare it with what you’ve spent on airfare, lodging, meals and unproductive labor time for your last big project and you’ll realize it’ll pay for itself quickly.
Your team’s best ideas are occurring in your hallways. Within minutes of huddling in the break room or in that quiet public space on the third floor, they are discussing a cost-saving solution to a huge problem. And, furthermore, they are always plugged in, whether it be with their phones or their tablets.
So the question is this: how can you capture your team’s best ideas when they happen outside of the “traditional” spaces and times?
- Consider putting in an LCD Flat Panel Display in the hallway.
- Install a board with wireless connectivity near the Kuerig.
- Subscribe to mobile collaboration apps so your team can connect with each other anytime, anywhere.
- Buy a few mobile interactive boards that can easily roll from one shared space to another.
Did you did you think this post was about collaborative technology?
Nope, it is about my son…the poor little guy had the flu. Thankfully, he wasn’t pukey but I did think he was contagious. I love him but I didn’t want to get sick because the final countdown to Christmas had begun!
Don’t judge me, but I kept my distance until his fever broke and he was on the mend. Instead, I asked him if he wanted some soup via text. I played scrabble with him via an app on our mobile devices. I helped him do his homework by sharing his screen on his laptop with my own. And I checked on him when I was grocery shopping via Facetime.
Now, lest you think I’m an ogre, know this: I hugged and kissed on him here and there. But I also used the tools I had available to keep actively engaged with him from afar.