When Does “Collaboration” Simply Become “Communication”?
Humans have been communicating for thousands of years.
The earliest cave paintings date back 40,000 years to the Ice Age.
And just as Prehistoric Man has evolved, so have the methods by which we connect with one another.Alphabet creation → Writing on papyrus → Couriers → Carrier pigeons → Smoke signals → Maritime Flags → Printing press → Postal service → Telegraph → Radio → Television
Then, things got crazy, and started moving at light speed!
Computer → Fax → Email → Online Forums → Cell phones → Social Media → Instant messaging → Text messaging → Video conferencing → Apps → ???
For the last twenty years, email was the king communication for business. Email provided a quick way to touch base with clients and colleagues, exchange ideas and documents, and maintain a paper trail of all activities. Because of email, the speed of business transformed from “wait,” into “now.”
But, who said the evolution of communication should end with email?
Not by a long shot.
In fact, with appetites whet from this rapid-fire exchange of information, developers set out to create channels that were even faster...even more convenient...the newest, the latest, the hottest. And they succeeded.
Collaborative platforms emerged. Sharepoint, Slack, Confluence, GitHub, Yammer, HipChat, and more, brought data-sharing to a whole new level. No matter the industry, no matter the title, no matter where in the world, today’s workforce is connected and sharing.
This is called, “collaborating.”
They are trading ideas, documents, images, client information, and even company secrets. They are working late nights and weekends, they are pinging on-site and off-site, they are increasing productivity, and some may even be plotting an exit.
One thing is for certain - they are not emailing.
Email is the new cave painting.
Don’t Blame the Millennials!
The millennial generation gets a lot of the credit (or blame) for this transition from the “old way” to collaborative methodology. This generation entered the workforce and spoke up. According to Forbes HR Council, they asked for a flexible and creative work life, team-based training, to be taken seriously, technology that inspires, and the opportunity to make an impact. Is it any wonder, then, that they gravitated to the newest technology of their time, which also happens to fulfill many of their requests?
This is where the question is revisited: When does “collaboration” simply become known as “communication”? In the evolutionary timeline of communication, collaboration is what’s happening now. Tomorrow, there will most definitely be something else. But right now, collaborative platforms ARE communication - maybe we can just call it, “collabication.”
Collaboration + Communication = Collabication
So...How can an employer protect itself in this Era of Collabication?
Collaborative platforms can be a double-edged sword for some companies - on the one-hand, their employees are, in most cases, working efficiently and effectively. On the other hand, with casual, colloquial communication, there is an increased risk of breach - of etiquette, of security, of confidentiality, of uncontrolled and unmonitored information sharing.
Most companies have a standard employee communication policy in place. But is it updated to include these collaborative platforms? Do companies clearly define which platforms are “official” and which are not? Are they protected against audits, lawsuits, employee disputes, intellectual property challenges, and other threats that businesses face?
Particularly in a regulated field, such as finance or government agencies, organizations are required to have a stringent policy for specialized preservation of all communication. What is often forgotten is that this includes collaborative platforms, which can be the most difficult to capture.
Whether a company is interested in creating a plan for collaborative platforms or enhancing an existing plan, these steps may prove helpful:
- Analyze and map out all web and social media content platforms used within the company
- Identify company websites and platforms that are no longer in use but where it is required to keep a legally defensible copy
- Incorporate technology that produces legally defensible captures
- Automate the capture all company web and social content
- Create a plan of adaptability for future collaborative platforms
- Maintain a searchable database of employee content
- Build a response plan for potential data breaches
- Work with your legal counsel to determine the most practical export formats
- Establish a legally defensible data deletion process
- Explore options to utilize AI-based technology to increase efficiency
The Hanzo Platform is the gold standard for capturing legally defensible web and social media content.
Contact us for a demo at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to COLLABICATE with you!