The new promise of collaboration is that with peer production we will harness human skill, ingenuity, and intelligence more efficiently and effectively than anything we have witnessed previously.
—DON TAPSCOTT AND ANTHONY D. WILLIAMS, WIKINOMICS
COLLABORATING FOR THE FUTURE
Cisco, the world’s largest provider of Internet networking and communication equipment, is powered by collaboration. With 22 current worldwide initiatives, chief executive John Chambers claims that it would be impossible to manage his company using his old style of command and control.1
Collaboration enables Cisco to foresee changing trends and act quickly.
According to Chambers, one of Cisco’s strengths is its ability to foresee impending market transitions. “Cisco is able to predict trends six to eight years ahead even in the highly volatile technology market by recognizing early-warning signals its customers unwittingly put off. To capitalize on these ‘market shifts,’ Chambers gave up his command-and-control style and made decision-making highly collaborative.”
Cisco organizes for collaboration in several ways.
Chambers claims that he found it difficult to let go of his usual command-and-control style, but he disciplined himself to change his behavior. Specifically, in meetings, he gave his team time to think. He began to see that his team often made decisions that were just as good, if not better, than his. And because they were involved in the process, the members ...