Find an international organization that matches the concept of open collaboration:
We chose to select IBM, as an example of an organization that matches the concept of collaboration. In fact, IBM, in the mid-1990’s, was one of the first companies to evaluate open collaboration at its right value and use it in order to increase productivity and product quality.
Describe theoutcome(s) of open collaboration for that organization:
Before describing the outcomes of open collaboration for IBM, we have to explain how open collaboration was implemented at IBM and how it worked for the organization.
First, they had some key rules to respect in order to be successful in their process. They had to be leaders in their actions (which they were) because they were one of thefirst software companies to base themselves on an open source project such as Linux. Thus, they gained in knowledge and credibility towards both customers and professionals.
Also, IBM made the choice to collaborate with its customers, enabling them to build a relationship in which they were true actors, and by doing so, IBM reached the goal to secure the loyalty of its clients.
Thirdly, IBMhas learnt to use trust instead of suspicion in its creation and development process. In fact, IBM used to be a very secretive company, in which nobody was allowed to talk about the new projects to people that had not been accredited, the prototypes had to be kept secret until almost the launch… now, IBM uses open collaboration instead of mistrust, meaning that the relationships between employeesare less rigid because they do not worry about what they are allowed to discuss or not anymore. In fact, today, IBM’s networks allow them to more transparency, saving time and money to everyone in the company.
Furthermore, the open collaboration IBM chose to use is synonymous with continuous improvement. This basically means that IBM needs to be developing more and more software fitting itscustomers’ suggestions and opinions. In fact, open collaboration means transparency at certain levels as we said earlier, thus meaning continuous performance and improvement. Because partners can become inspectors, IBM needs to be perfectly aware of its partners’ powers toward the company and its products.
Also, IBM had to build a flexible organization, in which information could circulate quickly, inorder to improve quality at its maximum. How so? By having teams of numerous entrepreneurs and outside partners, ready to implement new ideas and driven by consumers’ needs and desires.
The sixth step that allowed IBM to be successful was the fact that they managed to forget that at first they only were a software company, and started to think and care more for communication skills, employeedevelopment at different levels … Before employees can actually participate to the work that the community is doing, they need to observe and learn how it works. IBM understood that each system of open collaboration was different and that they had to prepare their employees carefully to join the projects.
Finally, managers have to find ways to keep people interested; they need to have long termprojects that involve them. Employees at IBM recognize that this brought them “so much control over [their] careers”. Because the system is based on meritocracy, each and every employee needs to be motivated; it doesn’t have to be directly related to pay, but they need to get benefits for their collaboration.
So, basically, the outcomes of open collaboration for IBM were numerous. First, it broughtIBM a new and more open model of management, allowing them to stay away from the tradition of secrecy and strict hierarchies; thus helping them bring new ideas and people to the creation and development of products and services. IBM literally became a professional of outward collaboration. One of the most obvious outcomes is IBM’s open collaboration client solution, which is powered by Linux...