After publishing my recent post on the four drivers of value creation in collaboration, I chatted with Anna Chu about how these concept is applied. The conversation highlighted to me that there was value in further explaining how to use these drivers to connect senior leaders and employees to the value of collaboration. This post will explore that topic further.
Drivers as a Link
As I noted in the initial post the four drivers are a simple tool to find value creation opportunities. Their power is that they act as a link between organisational strategic value whether in economic or non-economic value and the features and benefits of technology solutions and their use cases.
Let’s look at two examples:
Top Down Start – From Strategy to Use Case:
- The CEO approaches you to improve Innovation in line with the new corporate strategy. The strategy is a little unclear on how innovation works in your organisation so this responsibility is a little daunting.
- You have a conversation with the CEO and ask some questions to explore the drivers:
- Growth: What outcomes do you hope will grow through Innovation?
- Effectiveness: How do you see Innovation enable us to do things better?
- Velocity: What do you want us to do faster through innovation?
- Protection: How do you see innovation help us to avoid risks?
- The discussion is long and involves a lot more back and forth but together you clarify that the CEO is interested in how the organisation can more quickly bring products to market based on insights from customers. She is worried about being disrupted by a new competitor.
- You develop a strategy for the innovation initiative that is based around a series of new use steps that demand different ways of working:
- Growth: Increase Sales and Retain Customers by Delivering New Products
- Effectiveness: Better Convert Insights to new Product Features with higher value for Customers
- Velocity: Deliver Products to market Faster using better interactions in product team and the rest of the organisation
- Protection: Reduce competitive threat of disruption
- With these tangible steps you can now approach users to discuss how they might achieve these steps by changing the way they work:
- Growth: Better train sales people on new products and help them to better pass on customer feedback and insights directly to the product team. Allow them to collaboratively work together to develop new sales strategies for the new products
- Effectiveness: Enable the product team to work to a product backlog with more customer insights and involving more interaction with the customers and the rest of the organisation
- Velocity: Reduce the number of meetings and approval steps to bring a product to market. Shift from exhaustive approval to transparent experiments that are monitored by all stakeholders
- Protection: Alert the whole organisation to the disruptive threat. Engage all employees in the search for customer insights and competitive intelligence. They can come from anywhere.
Bottom Up – From Use Case to Strategy
- You notice an employee using a collaboration platform in an unusal way and you go engage them in conversation. She is posting daily tips and tricks on password security.
- The employee explains that she has decided to work out loud on her challenge of improving employee passwords. She knows that passwords impact everyone and her role in IT security doesn’t give her contact with everyone. There aren’t many resources for this initiative.
- You help the employee to connect this activity to the strategic goals of the organisation:
- Effectiveness: How can we better secure organisational data and systems to ensure legal compliance and also to maintain a secure environment?
- Protection: How do we avoid the risks of intrusion or breach of legal compliance?
- You work with the employee to get some additional funding given the strategic importance of this work and you develop a much wider range of initiatives that leverage collaboration to address the key work challenges using different collaboration opportunities:
- Effectiveness: In addition to better passwords, you are able to improve single sign-on, deliver better document management, etc
- Protection: You are able to engage a much wider group of employees in working together to improve information security more generally. In particular, you let employees know the many risks and legal requirements through discussion and action together.
A Bridge Between
Organisational goals and strategies are unique and highly contextual. So are the goals and strategies of users. The power of the four drivers is that they sit at a middle level of abstraction which helps connect high level strategic concepts and outcomes from the strategy process with specific individual user actions. Using the drivers to guide conversation and to guide questions helps anyone leading adoption to build a much stronger connection between activity and value in both directions.