The New Age of Hyper Collaborative Teams
The New Age of Hyper Collaborative Teams
Post written by Paragon Interiors   July 24, 2019

It has been 50 years since man first stepped on the moon. Neil Armstrong took his first step on the lunar surface 21st of July 1969. It was Neil who famously said as he leaped from Apollo 11, ‘One small step for man…one giant leap for mankind’. Although Neil is known to be the first man on the moon, it was by no means his own doing that got him there. A whole team of highly skilled individuals made this dream possible and changed the future of space travel forever.

In an article published by Michael Kolk, Rick Eagar, Charles Boulton and Carlos Mira, they state that hyper-collaboration is based on the belief that innovation ecosystems, not innovative companies, will deliver the best possible solutions to today’s problems. They believe that for us to move into the new world of thinking, to keep up with increased demands and rapid change, teams will have to surpass the horizons of the traditional work system. Hyper-collaboration is based off certain attributes: collaboration now exists between nonobvious partners such as universities, research institutions, customers and suppliers, it’s enabled by digital platforms, and a colossal amount of data is available and accessible to anyone.

‘Innovation ecosystems, not innovative companies, will deliver the best possible solutions to today’s problems’

Companies are focusing even more attention on how to support their internal team by evaluating their innovation ecosystems. The markets are more competitive than ever. Hyper-collaborative teams are no longer a ‘nice to have’, they are now a ‘need to have’ in order to stay relevant in the market. These teams work together using agile techniques to come up with unique and competitive products. Today, teams need increased support to bounce ideas off one another, building on each other’s thoughts, all while navigating the fast-paced flow of the business world.


The Goal

Collaboration is a fundamental part of business and can result in revolutionary accomplishments such as putting a man on the moon. Just as a company is only as good as the people who work there, so too, collaboration is only as good as the people who use it. How can you establish an innovation ecosystem in your office? Your ecosystem is made up of your company culture, infrastructure, policies and procedures, technology, and processes. Identify how each of these aspects plays a role in enabling or disabling collaboration. As you do more research, you may find that there are some barriers that can disrupt hyper-collaboration.


Barriers

Your offices

Your office infrastructure is one aspect of your ecosystem that could be restricting collaboration. Traditional offices offer a linear way of working where boardrooms and meeting rooms were originally designed for a CEO to bark commands to staff. We need to change the office structure from a ‘pyramid to a pancake…’ way of working says Oliver Baxter (Speaker and Psychologist at Herman Miller). Flattening the office structure in your company ensures everyone has the permission to create and innovate in their teams without having to observe the protocols that are so often a part of hierarchies.

Flexi-work

Technology has also had a huge impact on teamwork. Today individuals are not required to be in the same physical location to form a team. Digital forums such as Google Drive, Microsoft Teams (to name a few), have made it easy for groups to share, edit and create work remotely. Monitoring this type of collaboration can be tricky and requires expert knowledge on how to implement and run these platforms effectively.


The Solution

How can you overcome these barriers? You will need to take into consideration how your office can successfully facilitate the creative process.At Paragon Interiors we have the perfect formula for creating an office space that cooperates with your hyper-collaboration needs. We would consider walls that can be written on and movable whiteboards to jot down notes or pin up concept ideas. Flexible furniture in the office will aid staff in creating their own collaboration spaces and give them the choice and control over how they work. Mobile perch spots such as pedestals with seats on them create flexible options for impromptu ‘quick meets’, or tables on castors provide alternatives for swift, room layout changes. These key elements give staff the psychological permission to make their office work for them. Other support spaces such as smaller, enclosed rooms for focus work will allow teams the space to work together in small groups or privately when necessary. It is important to consider how technology and your office work together to ensure your teams are constantly connected.

Our corporate design specialists can help you to create a supportive, flexible infrastructure needed to develop a successful innovative ecosystem that fosters and encourages hyper-collaboration. Our change manager can advise on aligning your organisational structure to ensure you foster an innovative ecosystem.

Let us help you take that first step… ‘One small step for man…one giant leap for business kind’.

References

Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogertrapp/2017/06/28/rapid-change-and-constant-disruption-demand-a-new-approach-to-innovation/#6afe29f66019

Steelcase: https://www.steelcase.com/teams/?utm_source=schomepage&utm_campaign=teams

Consultancy UK: https://www.consultancy.uk/news/14577/the-growth-of-hyper-collaboration-in-an-innovation-driven-world