Association teams include people from a variety of disciplines, and they need to work well together. Mike Guerrieri, CAE, strategic consultant, technology management, at DelCor Technology Solutions, explains how tech tools can support collaboration.
What is your definition of collaboration?
Collaboration is the process that enables people with diverse knowledge, expertise, and experience to work together toward a common goal with a higher-quality end product as a result. Certainly, not all work requires collaboration. Some creative work is best done by individuals. But given the complexity and cross-disciplined work of associations, staff must be able to work together. Collaboration makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts.
How can IT teams help support collaboration among association staff?
IT should focus on the good of the enterprise, not individuals or teams. Just because one team likes a tool doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for the organization. IT can make sure the tools are being used effectively through training and regular usage tips.
Are there specific collaboration tools that you prefer?
The best tools are those that are used, ideally, across the organization. I’ve seen too many organizations that have plenty of tools but no consensus on which ones to use—so marketing uses Basecamp, IT uses Jira, and the communications team uses Slack. That’s counterproductive to collaboration. Many of our clients are using Office 365, and there are some powerful tools there, like Teams and SharePoint. Just be sure to use everything that you’re paying for.
[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled “Talking Tech: Cultivating Collaboration.”]