Who is correct?

Image by : Eric Ziegler
I recently read two very interesting blog posts.  They are interesting because they were both posted on the same day, and from what I can tell, they both were posted within hours of each other.  The are interesting because they take the opposite side to the debate.    And no, I am not talking about the U.S. Presidential race.   So what am I talking about?

Jacob Morgan and Steve Dale both had posts about collaboration on October 25th.  Jacob's post, Can You Create a Collaborative Organization Without Technology?, discusses the topic of how collaboration would not be possible without technology.  Steve's post, Social Collaboration: it’s the people not the technology, stupid! discusses the topic of how collaboration is about the people and not the tool.

Jacob states, "Is it possible to change behaviors or to build a collaborative organization without technology?  Think about that for a moment before you answer."  Steve states, "But regardless of what labels we give to the technology, the one constant feature is the people, i.e. the staff, the workers, the users."   At first glance, especially when looking at the titles and reading those quotes, you would think that if Jacob and Steve ended up in a back alley, a fight would break out.  Both appear to be on the opposite side of the debate.  So if they are on the opposite sides of the debate, which side is correct?

At this point of the blog, I want to make it clear that I believe both are correct. In addition, if you were to ask either of them, I think they would agree with each other, at least to some extent.  Why do I say that?  If technology was not available, collaboration would be possible, but the amount of collaboration would be less.  Technology enables collaboration.  But, technology does not make people collaborate.  As Steve says, build it and they will come mentality will fail.   I AGREE!   But, as Jacob states,  it is very important to enable the behavior or cultural change needed for employees to collaborate better in an enterprise.  Especially within larger organizations.

So what do you think?  Which is comes first, the culture change or the technology?  The good ole, chicken and egg question.

No comments:

Post a Comment