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The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization's True Potential Hardcover – December 19, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Cisco Systems (December 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098394170X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983941705
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #585,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Perkins on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was recently complaining to a friend about how much time was being wasted on useless meetings with one of my clients. Upon suggesting I read The Collaboration Imperative, my friend promised me it wouldn't be another one of those re-tread "Business Idea-Of-The-Day" books. Having read so many those jargon-filled volumes over the years, I was not particularly expecting a whole lot. But after checking out the first few pages, I was honestly looking forward to how the authors were planning on fleshing out their premise...

The bottom line is, with so much technology and so little time, were all innately collaborative by default, right? Well, truly the biggest barriers to collaboration are not technical in nature at all! They are cultural and organizational, whether you're working in a start-up or a massive multi-national. Having worked in both, the idea of embracing contrarian ideas in your process accelerates result gathering, and thus the ability to make informed decisions. Of course this requires leadership and resolve from management to lead by example. No more "silo syndrome", fiefdoms, and looking at resources as "stuff", but tools.

As a technology guy, I particularly liked the authors' "collaboration API" concept that they developed--especially for making meetings productive. No more "Who called this meeting?" or "What's the agenda?" questions. A simple exchange, engage, or inform platform is available to maximize everyone's time and accomplish intended goals. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chema Ballarin on November 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The Collaboration Imperative" is written by two senior executives at Cisco: Carl Wiese, vice president of the collaboration sales organization and Ron Ricci, vice president of corporate positioning. Together, they offer a view to executives (the book is written not in technical jargon but rather with a business orientation) of what collaboration is, why it's needed and what the readers (i.e. execs) can do to best achieve a collaborative environment within their companies.
Don't look for product descriptions here or an essay on the human part of the communications and collaboration. This is a business book focused on highlighting the value of collaboration and giving some advice and examples, based on Cisco's own experience and implementation, of how to improve the degree of collaboration inside an enterprise.

The book is divided in three parts, aligning to the three fundamental pillars of a collaborative environment: Culture (People), Process and Technology.

* Part one is about the needed change in mentality that must happen in a company both at an executive level (who must be the catalyst for collaboration to happen) as well at the rest of the teams and people, if we want to take the first step towards better communication. The two fundamental lessons here are that top management must give example being the first to foster collaboration; the other lesson is for the rest of us to be authentic and find out what is our style of communication, on the basis that understanding it will help us to better listen and communicate to others. It's a good start since, at the end, collaboration is about people talking to people, people working with people, so it makes sense to focus on those individuals first.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tom Stephenson on January 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ricci and Wiese present a compelling case on why the way we work is undergoing radical change for the better. The days of hierarchical, silo'd business processes are behind us as new collaborative ways of working allow (and often force) much more fluid and rapid interactions. The upside (which they show through many detailed vignettes) is considerable in terms of business outcomes (cycle time, cost, quality) as well as increased employee satisfaction and engagement.

In a day where transactions costs and operations are squeezed tighter and tighter it is the interactions between knowledge workers that will create sustainable competitive advantage. In the book I particularly liked the connection between management practices (especially the discussions on transparency and accountability), culture and the underlying technology. None of these alone can create the new working model for the future.

Well done, I look forward to seeing the dialog on more company examples. This really brings the concepts to life for me.

The Collaboration Imperative
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Klein on January 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In the Collaborative Imperative, Ricci and Wiese deliver a treasure trove of insights, information and practical tools to catalyze collaboration. The authors outline the cultural, process and technological dimensions of collaboration, in a densely packed, elegantly designed and easily navigated guidebook for executives, leaders and team members. The Collaborative Imperative is both a call-to-action and a playbook for flourishing in the Age of Collaboration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kare Anderson VINE VOICE on March 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"I've yet to meet a CEO who didn't want his or her company to move faster," wrote Ron Ricci, a Cisco executive. In this disruptive era, the companies that will survive are those that can adapt most swiftly. Rapidly exiting the Home Networking business, as Cisco did recently, couldn't have happened if the firm had not developed a clear, transparent and collaborative decision making process according to Ricci and his Cisco colleague and co-author of The Collaboration Imperative, Carl Wiese which I covered in my Forbes column:[...] That's vital for organization-wide strategic alignment, yet extremely difficult to accomplish. As Collaboration author, Morten Hansen, discovered bad collaboration is much worse than no collaboration, so some of Ricci and Wiese's hard-earned lessons at work may help you.

Three walls to willing collaboration

Three of the biggest impediments to making major changes fast, especially in a large company like Cisco, are 1. Unclear clear goals, 2. Lack of a decision making process that is transparent to employees, and, 3. Top management not sticking to that process. By building these elements into the culture, Cisco was able to move relatively quickly to save millions. Using their collaborative process, they reduced the number of contractors from 5,000 to less than 1,000. In the winnowing process they established a more transparent, cross-functional process through which employees can reduce duplicative work by contractors by checking the scope of current projects already under contract.

Ambiguity from the top is the enemy of apt action from below

Ambiguity generates distrust, resistance and fiefdom fighting, according to Ricci and Wiese.
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