Book excerpt 2021 (6): Extreme collaboration as a prerequisite for successful information governance

“The greatest challenge on the road to unifying successful governance is the fact that no one function or department alone is capable of achieving the perceived goals and benefits.” (Pugh H. 2012) – Book p.37, chap. 2.3.4 Organization of information governance

The above quote virtually suggests a collective effort toward intensive cross-functional collaboration in an appropriate IG program. IG understood here as a key strategic competence for mastering the multi-faceted digital transformation (strategic control and steering of business information). Many similar initiatives have failed due to the problems and excessive demands of a “normal” collaboration and cooperation culture. (cf. Chap. 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 Culture shock or “lack of value propositions”(see also use case of a pharmaceutical company).

Collaborative culture is thus one of the critical activities in orchestrating the heterogeneous and multi-disciplinary processes of an Information Governance Initiative (IG). A networked collaboration culture is needed that, at its core, builds a virtual situation or crisis center where people can come together to work collaboratively toward a common goal. Such an “ecosystem” should be accessible at all times without interruption.

What makes such collaboration an extreme requirement, primarily in larger organizations?

What makes it extreme is the will to overcome geographic, organizational, political and managerial boundaries in a very heterogeneous and dynamic VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world. Extreme collaboration is made possible by bringing together several key people and roles in a pattern that brings innovation in behavior, communication, collaboration, and relationship management (incl. new roles cf. ch. 6.1.1, pp. 235-237).

The activities of such a sophisticated collaboration in an IG initiative may include, but are not limited to:

  • Establish real-time communication habits on div. internal or ext. Platforms (Teams, Slack, Yammer, etc.) to enable more open and thus transparent information flows and more proactive communications; capture important communications
  • Getting employees out of their comfort zone, empowering and encouraging them to bring collective strengths to bear in mastering critical situations
  • Change reward systems, i.e., reward collaborative action and lateral leadership (for lateral leadership, see Chap. as well as Gartner 2012: Six Best Practices for Moving to a Culture of Extreme Collaboration).

This means, in particular, efforts in the area of change management: cf . Chap. 5.6.9 p.227ff

“Thus, if adequate and reasonable orchestration of all involved stakeholders is not achieved within a given timeframe, there is little chance that an IG program will succeed. The way leads only through an understanding of IG as a conversation and communication project : that means permanently creating clarity about :

  • Perspectives and perceptions of information management (IM orientation in changing identities ),
  • Basic attitudes ( Attitudes ) Information behavior and permanent change management in difficult circumstances (overcoming immunities, habits etc.)
  • Tools (focus on steering implementation through meaningful conversation and interaction, architectures, language, habitus ),
  • the levels of action ( finding a balance between desirable ( people ), feasible ( technology ) and viable ( business ) ).” …

Continue reading on p. 237

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