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The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Emerging Social and Collaborative Tools Hardcover – June 26, 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jacob Morgan is the principal and cofounder of Chess Media Group, a management consultancy and strategic advisory firm that helps organizations understand how to use social and collaborative tools to solve business problems. Morgan has worked with organizations such as the U.S. Department of State, Siemens, Sprint, and Adobe. Morgan also co-authored Twittfaced and runs the awardwinning blog SocialBusinessAdviser.com. He loves chess, racquetball, and traveling.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071782303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071782302
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found that the book was mostly about the implementation of tools to support behaviors that have long been understood to be helpful to organizations in improving performance. With regard to "long been understood" I cite two examples. (1) In 1952, providing direction for employee collaboration in the development of the magnetic disk memory [An International Historic Landmark] a guiding principle was "It is the most important assignment of every engineer in this laboratory to give assistance, in the form of consultation, experimentation or suggestions, when asked to by another engineer, and the second most important assignment is that of carrying forward the project to which he is assigned. " [The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, February 27, 1984]. (2) In 1965, Bell telephone Laboratories established an "online" database providing a summary of employee expertise in various fields, for use by all employees.
Not to detract from the usefulness of Mr. Morgan's provision of checklists for implementing tools to support collaboration, which checklists are quite comprehensive and very well thought out, I think the title should have been "A Guide to Implementation of Tools to Support Collaboration in Organizations."
It appears that The Strategic Guide to Solving Challenges to Collaboration in Organizations has yet to be written. Mr. Morgan does note that "Nonsupportive cultures at organizations can destroy efforts to build a collaborative organization; therefore, they must be addressed," but offers only the historical commentary with regard to what it takes to "address" them. (For example, it taking several disasters (bombing of embassies, 9/11) to get the Department of State to recognize that it needed to change. Such scenarios are sometimes labeled "burning platforms.
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Format: Hardcover
I read an advance copy of Jacob Morgan's book. Jacob says: "The purpose of this book is to act as a guide for executives, decision makers, and those involved with collaborative initiatives at their organizations". I believe he hits the mark with a book of lasting value, as do reviewers including Vivek Kundra, former Chief Information Officer of the United States; Erik Brynjolf, MIT Center for Digital Business Director, and others.

Jacob organizes his book into three parts: The Opening, The Middle Game, and The End Game. The Opening chapters talk to people in organizations who are just getting started with their initiatives. It covers business drivers, case studies, evaluating risk, and getting the right people involved. The Middle Game chapters cover topics including defining goals to match your business, developing a strategy, vendor evaluation, dealing with resistance, rolling out a platform, and developing governance. The End Game chapters talk about strategies for sustaining and maintaining these initiatives in the long term, including a bonus chapter on Enterprise 2.0 with Andrew McAfee.

Jacob's book is based on his own analysis and research, including interviews, case studies and survey responses from 234 individuals around the world, working for companies ranging from 1,000 to over 100,000 employees, with responsibilities ranging from mid-level to C-level executives. The Collaborative Organization is vendor neutral, involving actual practitioners who are implementing collaborative tools and strategies for their organizations - not vendors or consultants.

Each chapter includes analysis, examples and a well-written Summary and Action items section, with actionable advice that you'll turn to often.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We’ve all seen the posters or read these words; “A camel is a horse designed by committee,” and this sentiment is where Jacob Morgan provides useful insight for any organization who embarks on bringing this concept to fruition. Quite early on in The Collaborative Organization, the author wonders how business was ever conducted before his time, in which he grew up with computers, the internet and all things electronic. (Not his exact quote but close enough). To be sure, it’s possible to make money and conduct business without the use of collaborative tools, and many businesses today don’t see the need or have an understanding of the benefits of such a business model.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of talk about technology, program, platforms and procedures, but what’s really at the core of the plethora of available “solutions” is human behavior and good business management. It is clear by the work the author has done with a number of companies through his own consulting firm, “Chess Media Group” that any organization intentionally embarking in a collaborative workplace direction would be well advised to read this book or employ the author’s services.

A point well made in the book and something I totally agree with is the fact that all organizations are moving toward a collaborative business model whether they know it or not. Employees themselves have access to off the shelf low or no cost tools to facilitate a collaborative workplace, and it’s going on in many cases without the knowledge of senior management, in ad-hoc ways that can be useful and damaging at the same time.
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