Tuesday Morning Donut Discussion: The Lighter Side of Collaboration

|   Jan 27, 2009

We know that collaboration can help with the Really Big Problems inside companies. It’s why you bring in the bubbly consultants who lead team-building and brainstorming exercises. It’s why you’ve got that suggestion box from 1995 inside every office. And yes, it’s why you deploy Socialcast. Employee collaboration can help you find Really Great Solutions to your Really Big Problems.

But sometimes, collaboration doesn’t have to tackle the earth-shattering issues. Sometimes, collaboration just helps when you’re hungry.

Take this example, directly from our Socialcast internal community this morning (see image below). Lars in our Minneapolis office posted a note about donuts on Twitter. That started a lively discussion about donuts and food across all of our offices. This led to a real conversation about a Friday breakfast co-op where one employee brings in food for the whole team. A variety of employees agreed that they liked the idea. Sean, an Irvine developer, volunteered to kick off the Friday breakfast trend, and thus, the Socialcast Friday Breakfast Co-op was born.

breakfastcoop

Yeah, we had a discussion about donuts. I’m sure that a few people will roll their eyes at this terrible waste of time we just committed. But think about this a little more deeply, if you will.

Old Mindset: 8 employees wasted company time talking about donuts.

New Mindset: 8 employees started a new company tradition today.

Old Mindset: Lars is wasting his time on Twitter.

New Mindset: Lars is using Twitter to engage with our team and the Twitterverse-at-large, showing our customers that we’re real people and that we care

Old Mindset: Various employees are leaving non-value-add comments to posts, reducing their credibility with other workers.

New Mindset: Employees are conversing with one another and building bonds, enhancing their engagement with our company.

Old Mindset: Donuts are bad for you.

New Mindset: We are going to eat them anyway and you should come join us.

The point is: There are a lot of naysayers who don’t want to use tools like Socialcast because employees will spend some time talking about donuts and bagels. But, collaboration happens on any imaginable topic, and you really should harness that inside your company, whether the topic is donuts, the budget, or new sales strategies. Besides, if you let employees collaborate without the fear of reprimand, not only will you get some great ideas, you also might get a free breakfast out of it.

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What is Socialcast?

Socialcast by VMware (NYSE: VMW) is a social network for business uniting people, information, and applications with its real-time enterprise activity stream engine. Behind the firewall or in the cloud, Socialcast enables instant collaboration in a secure environment. Socialcast is headquartered in San Francisco, California. www.socialcast.com