Collaborative Quotient Is the Secret to Creating Value at Your Company

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Every business wants smart people. However, I believe it’s the businesses with high CQs -- collaborative quotients -- that ultimately have the greatest chances for long-term success.

Just what is a “collaboration quotient?” A company with a high CQ has the ability to consistently tap into the collective talent of its best and smartest people to develop business solutions -- programs, plans and presentations -- that reflect their combined best input. Companies with high CQs encourage team communication and cooperative work-sharing processes that are constantly changing, building and morphing to meet the needs of their most current challenge. The goal of a high CQ business environment is the ongoing development of the highest possible value of organizational output.

If your business is able to boost the collaborative process, it may lead to a competitive edge.

Related: What Makes a Perfect Collaboration? Weakness, 

larger market share, a better bottom line and possibly even a more engaged and committed workforce. All sound like pretty good outcomes. Yet attempting to manage collaboration per se can be challenging. And chances are that your business already has a multitude of tools designed to foster team collaboration -- from the well-equipped conference rooms to all forms of networked communications. 

So upping your business’s CQ will require you to see things in a new light -- both literally and metaphorically. Here are five steps to get you there:

1. Supercharge your collaboration space.

The conference room may be an easy place to meet but may not necessarily be fostering valuable collaborative output. So consider reinventing the meeting space with new technology that is powerful and simple to use. Some suggestions include interactive projectors, web conferencing, annotation tools and audio/phone systems will jumpstart the brains of different types of thinkers.

2. Don’t confuse collaboration with creativity.

There’s no doubt that the collaborative process can and does play a big role in the development of creativity in most companies today. However, there are plenty of routine (even boring) business programs that would benefit tremendously from a heightened collaborative process. Think in terms of accounting procedures, benefits management and business planning. Encourage group collaboration for every-day projects to increase productivity and enhance team communications.

Related: What to Think About When Selecting Collaborative Tools

3. Collaborate anywhere.

Whiteboards, flip-charts and flat panel displays are good for many things but have significant limitations when it comes to organizational collaboration, particularly when participants are not all located in the same geography. An interactive collaboration platform like our Epson’s BrightLink Pro projector defies distance and allows participants on a company’s network to actively engage in any visual collaborative project. 

4. Support BYODing.

Encourage your team members to use their own technology -- smartphones, tablets, notebooks -- any device that can be connected to your collaboration platform can dramatically increase the flow of ideas, information and creative thinking, as well as the ability to keep tabs on competitors' activities. Think of the innovation possible by 15 engineers working on a project -- some in remote locations -- that all have a hand in designing the solution while continuously monitoring in real-time what is being developed.

5. Get off your duff. 

Maybe it’s just me, but I can feel the energy in a room when smart people are up and out of their chairs. Annotating presentations, drawing schematics, outlining Gantt charts or just scribbling down ideas that they believe might be helpful. Any collaboration platform that requires people to sit still might well be squashing some the best ideas from some of your best people.

Related: Collaborate or Be Killed