Are Communities and Teams the Core of Collaboration Process?

It can be said that modern world sees collaborative knowledge as one of the measures of company’s performance and that by improving collaboration, the performance will improve as well. But,  is there a faster and more efficient way of improving performance?

Yes! The answer lies in creating teams and virtual communities which share the same goals:

·         Exchanging ideas

·         Solving the existing situation or a given task

·         Improving business efficiency

Virtual Communities

There are different virtual communities as they can be formed and participated by users of different fields of expertise, such as employees, customers, partners and other interested groups. They are usually formed spontaneously through the tendency of sharing and finding knowledge. Yet, if their potential is recognized and supported by the management, collaborative knowledge will come to the highest level. The great advantage can be found in the fact that they are virtual, which is why geographical stratification is never an issue. Some other characteristics of virtual communities are:

  • Common interest - individuals and companies of different backgrounds can have the same interest and find their solutions
  • Establishing relationships - by sharing the same field of interest, understanding, bonding and mutual benefit, a special kind of relationship specific only for virtual communities is fostered
  • Cooperative interaction - by building on one another’s ideas and solutions, progress, efficiency and productiveness are achieved
  • Learning and Knowledge support - participants have great opportunity to learn as other members selflessly share their ideas, achievements, and breakthroughs.

Virtual communities, are there to facilitate the transfer and acquisition of knowledge.

Unlike teams, when virtual communities find the solution to the problem, it remains available to the public. By good organization of participants per the field of work as well as eliminating space restrictions, we get dynamic interaction that leads to good solutions.

Teams

Team members solve problems and exchange ideas within the team. Both knowledge and experience stay internal among them.

The question that comes up is can these experiences be shared and reused? The answer is yes!

The succession teams or the teams to come do not have to spend time resolving the same difficulties and going through similar problems, making same errors and wasting time on their elimination. Instead, they can turn to already trotted path of their precursors.Teams are usually formed spontaneously by employees who are trying to come up with a solution of various problems and the others who are willing to share their knowledge.

Here's a more detailed view of their similarities and differences:

If we have to choose a winner, then we would opt for communities. Although both options have its flaws and advantages, virtual collaboration is replacing so far known face-to-face collaboration. The communities that collaborate virtually are formed in knowledge networks. There is a myriad of reasons speaking in favour of knowledge networks, but the one to start with is increased efficiency through knowledge transfer and collaboration. And that is the best way to improve a company's performance, or change the world.

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