Research Library

Use and Misuse of Collaborative Technologies – handbook

There have been big changes in the collaboration landscape since the last Use & Misuse guide was published in 2006. Collaboration can now have the scale of the web. 

Many hundreds of millions of people now use tools such as Twitter and Facebook to keep in touch with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, and the habit is spreading to the workplace.  Increasingly firms large and small are implementing social media tools that include discussion forums, blogs, micro-blogging, tagging and profiles. Increasingly, too, these tools are used not just internally, but with suppliers and customers.

What has not changed is the fundamental mantra of our advice to all users of collaboration technologies:  First, engage brain. Then explicitly choose the tool and the message.

Collaboration and collaboration technologies have taken on a much greater importance in the enterprise.  However, remember that collaboration is still a means, not an end in itself. Excellence in technology use must be accompanied by clarity of purpose.




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Douglas Neal
Research Fellow
Doug Neal, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum. Doug's focus is on the intersection of strategy, business operations and technology.     Doug is the author of multiple reports including A Guide to Co-creating Value with Your Customers, authored with Jim Ginsburgh, Lewis Richards and Professor Venkat Ramaswamy from the University of Michigan, Next Generation Consumerization – Co-creating Value with your Customers, The Consumerization Workbook and Preparing for a Post-PC World.   He co-authored the book The Networked Supply Chain:  Applying Breakthrough BPM Technology to Meet Relentless Customer Demands.  Doug’s point of view on consumer privacy was published in Wilson Quarterly, the journal of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Doug has led a number of study tours over recent years on subjects including Dealing with Disruption, The Future of Do-It-Yourself Technology, Mobility, Cloud Computing, Web 2.0 and Green IT. Doug has developed state-of-the-art management and other end-user systems for clients in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and high-technology companies.  Prior to joining the Leading Edge Forum, Doug worked at two international management consulting firms and founded an organization specializing in systems for executive management. Doug received a BA from Haverford College, conducted special studies at the Ruhr University, and has an ABD from the University of Michigan.