Book Review: The Collaborative Organization

The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social & Collaborative Tools is a practical guide to justifying, planning, and implementing collaboration tools in your organizations. There are four parts in the book that I found the most valuable. First, early on in the book, Jacob Morgan presents a list of solutions to organization problems that an enterprise collaboration system could help solve. Some of these include:

  • Knowledge Sharing and Transfer
  • Alignment
  • Subject-matter Expertise
  • Thinking Outline

...just to name a few.

This discussion in the book gets you thinking about the problems in your own organization that you want to solve.

Second, it was a good reminder in the book to read about how to assemble a project team and what roles should be included in that team.

The next sections I found most valuable were the two sections on anticipating risks and resistance. These are easy to overlook (or just plain ignore), but thinking about who will resist, why they will resist, and how they will resist, helps one think through and anticipate the resistance so one can be prepared to overcome it.

Disliked About The Book

Though I found this to be an easy read and a practical guide that would definitely be valuable to anyone looking to justify, select, implement, and sustain an enterprise collaboration system, I found the book to be a little light-weight. Specifically I mean that the book was not rooted in research or evidence. There is no bibliography or reference list in the book. So I am left to assume everything is based on the author's experience and personal opinion. Of course, this is the nerd in me talking.

The practitioner in me (I am a director of training and have implemented many enterprise systems in the real world) thinks the book is something I could pick up and use. The case studies were useful and nicely balance the lack of references to research and evidence.

Overall: Practical, Useful

The Collaborative Organization is a very good book. One can tell the author has helped clients succeed with their implementations, which is what really matters isn't it? I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to do anything from come up with a justification for an enterprise collaboration solution to someone who wants to do a successful implementation.