I just read an interesting article published by eminent consulting firm McKinsey & Company entitled “Using technology to improve workforce collaboration” (authors James Manyika, Kara Sprague and Lareina Yee).
A new class of worker: the Collaboration Worker
The authors recast the workforce sector known as Knowledge Workers (a venerable term coined by Peter Drucker in the mid 20th century) in terms of what most non-production or transaction workers do: collaborate to solve problems, nurture ideas, serve customers and engage with partners. Their research reveals that “the performance gap between top and bottom companies in collaboration-intense sectors is nine times that of production- or transaction-intense sectors”. It follows then that productivity improvements in this sector of the workforce could have a significant impact on the bottom line. As we have a plethora of collaboration tools available to us today, we’ve got ourselves a real opportunity to nail this one. Right? Yes (the article describes how Cisco saved more than $100 million in travel and business expenses and increased productivity by 78 percent), and it’s not quite that simple.