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The future of collaboration

Updated: Jun 3



Collaboration can be a messy business. On one hand, the content we create during daily work—PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets—circulates through various digital channels. This circulation often leads to multiple versions of the same file, causing confusion about which version is the most current or relevant. On the flip side, the contextual information that should accompany this content is scattered across chat messages and email threads. We have all these digital tools at our disposal, but they don't always help us collaborate efficiently.

 

The saying goes, “A fool with a tool is still a fool.” Organisations must invest in understanding which work practices—and which tools—will genuinely enhance productivity, engagement, and well-being.For collaboration to be truly effective, it's essential that the content we share is accompanied by the relevant context. What if you could capture all the contextual information and files in one place, creating a cohesive story that everyone could follow? This is where "Working In the Narrative" (WIN) comes in.

Improving collaboration: Working In the Narrative (WIN):

WIN is a simple yet innovative concept that treats organisational processes like evolving narratives. Instead of chasing emails or digging through various chat messages, you create a single thread on a social collaboration platform—like Microsoft Teams—to document every step of a project, employee journey, or incident. Each thread starts with an initial post, and as the project develops, new information is added in chronological order. This structured approach not only creates a complete record of the process, but it also provides a single source of truth that everyone can access. WIN promotes a collective awareness by keeping everyone in the loop, reducing the need for repetitive meetings and unnecessary emails. With a centralised thread, everyone involved can track progress in real-time, leading to quicker decision-making and problem-solving. This allows teams to spend more time on tasks that matter and less time on aligning with others.

  • Collective awareness: By sharing work in MS Teams spaces or channels, stakeholders and team members can see what's happening in real-time, reducing the need for alignment and significantly decreasing the number of meetings, chats, and emails.

  • Speed and agility: With near real-time updates, problems or decisions don't have to wait until the next meeting, leading to faster problem-solving and decision-making.

  • Accountability and knowledge capture: WIN creates complete stories that combine contextual information with all the files involved, ensuring that knowledge, especially tacit knowledge, used to solve problems is recorded.

Implementing WIN in your organisation with MS Teams

  1. Define the main work streams and create relevant channels in MS Teams.

  2. View work as narratives and capture it in threaded posts in MS Teams, using @mentions instead of emails or chats.

  3. Keep stakeholders in the loop by sharing links to files and threads, ensuring there's only one version of the document.

 

If your collaboration methods feel like they could use a tune-up, consider giving "Working In the Narrative" a try. It might just be the key to unlocking better teamwork and a more efficient way of working.

Learn how to start “WINning” in your organisation, check out our new white paper Collaboration strategy: getting it right!



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