GLOSS Issue 21 APRIL 2015 - Page 18

Renata Cooper All For One And One For All: Collaboration In 2015 2015 will see us, as a society; work together more than we ever have in the past. Technology, shifting work ethics and the need to deliver greater good has seen collaborative practices going mainstream in workplaces, manufacturing, consumption, resource management, recycling and how we perceive competition. Increasingly, we are working together for our benefit and that of those around us. Beyond classic examples such as eBay and the less decorous ones such as Pirate Bay, many community driven collaborative movements are shaping our economy and culture. From 3D printing, co-creation, to software as services technology that is allowing brands to connect directly with customers and consumption platforms such as Freecycle, our world is getting smaller and more intertwined. So how will collaboration impact small businesses and entrepreneurs this year? SOCIAL MEDIA IS AS IMPORTANT AS EMAIL AND PHONES: Research firm Gartner predicts that by 2016, 50 percent of large organisations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and that 30 percent of these will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today. Entrepreneurs and smaller businesses will take cue from this trend and use social mediums to build brands and manage conversations. Social engagement will become an important part of their business plan and strategy. Community managers – internal employees or external facilitators such as CloudPeeps – will play a bigger role in channeling relevant information across different platforms. Likewise, the role of content will evolve to focus more on key influencers, leadership and relationships. Businesses with global footprints will also use social platforms to create more cohesive workforce across cities and countries – at a fraction of the cost. EMPLOYEE VOICE AND NEW WORK STRUCTURE: In the past, employee performance management was reliant on management teams and the opportunities they provided. Flatter work structures and access to social networks, within and outside the organisation, have given a stronger voice to employees to showcase their work, interests, skills (both intuitive and taught) and potential. Employees will be more empowered to work with entrepreneurs and businesses that fulfill not just pay check requirements, but also support them through collaboration and are prepared to engage in their interests. Employers