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The German perfection

Social Collaboration (SC) in Germany: Companies must abandon the tendency toward German perfection.
Nicole Dufft, PAC
July 11, 2013
[shutterstock:473098834, sdecoret]
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

In the current PAC study "Social Collaboration in Germany, France and Great Britain 2013" shows Germany on the subject of social Collaboration rather than a latecomer.

Only one in five departments reports partially or fully implemented initiatives in this field.

Too bad! Because effective collaboration is essential, especially for companies that often describe knowledge as their most important strategic resource, operate globally and live from their innovative strength.

The report prepared by the department heads in Germany reported need for action on core topics such as interdisciplinary networking, joint processing of documents or efficient task management confirms this.

The great skepticism of German departments in assessing the environment is only partially justified. Because in terms of open communication culture or self-determination of the Employees companies do not have to hide.

The biggest obstacles are the pronounced security concerns and - also associated with this - above-average requirements for implementation. This typical German penchant for perfection is certainly understandable in certain areas.But it is also dangerous. Because social Collaboration must develop, it cannot be planned perfectly.

But those who wait and rely on bans until the environment is perfect risk falling behind in the competition.

  • The need for social Collaboration departments report a high or very high need for action on topics such as identifying experts and knowledge (66 percent), joint document processing (61 percent) and promoting interdisciplinary networking (57 percent).
  • But Germany Only 21 percent of departments have (partially) implemented SC projects - compared to 38 percent in the UK. One third of the respondents report initiatives in the test or planning phase. Almost every second department has not yet launched any initiative in this field.
  • environment is critically assessed - the commitment of the Management missing!
    Respondents in Germany They are also more critical than average in their assessment of the socialCollaboration-For many criteria, the skepticism seems unfounded. However, in only eleven percent of German companies does the Management active - in the UK, this figure is 35 percent.
  • Strategic planning and integrated solutions? In Germany often missing!Germany also lags behind in the practical implementation of social Collaboration behind.Every second project in Germany is not planned strategically for the long term; in many cases, various individual applications are used. In PAC's view, there is a lot of catching up to do here.

Visual Lessons for Social Collaboration The numerous flood relief volunteers in the German flood areas have been providing practical support in recent days. In the blog post "Social Collaboration: Look at this city!

What German business leaders can learn from Dresden flood relief workers", our Dresden colleague Andreas Stiehler sums up the lessons that can be derived for business leaders:

  1. Companies cannot avoid social media in the long term. Collaboration around
  2. Social Collaboration Requires trust and a willingness to allow for changes in culture
  3. Who Social-Collaboration-initiatives in the company without any alternative is depriving itself of the future.
  4. Bans are not solutions, alternatives must be created
  5. Social marketing and customer services require a social enterprise

Our conclusion:

Any Social Media-initiative is a wasted effort if the company does not act as a social enterprise. And this requires social Collaboration.

German companies need to be more open and proactive in addressing this issue. Proactivity does not mean mindlessly opening the door to networks, but rather social-Collaboration-initiatives strategically, the use of corresponding applications by the Employees specifically, define rules and integrate social networking technically and organizationally into the processes.

The Management has a special responsibility in this regard. It is not enough to simply launch new initiatives or pilot projects. Managers themselves must actively use the new opportunities - in other words: social Collaboration set an example. Great Britain shows that this is possible and that it works.

Nicole Dufft has been analyzing market developments and trends in the ICT industry for more than ten years, with a focus on the topics of cloud, Collaboration and Mobility. As a member of the management team at PAC Germany, she heads the PAC/Berlecon Business Unit in Berlin as well as the PAC market research team in Hamburg.

Nicole Dufft, PAC

Board Member of INOMICS GmbH

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