How enterprise collaboration can unlock business successes

Large organisations must be agile in order to thrive. This is a narrative that we’ve heard over and over again for years. However, for enterprises looking to remain competitive in a global, digital-heavy economy like Singapore, it must be more than agile — teams must be able to collaborate seamlessly too.

Singapore’s low barrier of entry for businesses has turned the city-state into a hub for regional operations. As more businesses and individuals continue to enter the market, the power of the community through effective collaboration can bring about opportunities in various fields including R&D, technology, smart cities development, transport and logistics, professional services and more.

This collaboration can help startups and global teams navigate the fast-paced business environment and overcome any cultural nuances to ensure success within the market. Regardless of country or industry across APAC, good collaboration can be facilitated by the ease of communication.

How enterprises can facilitate collaboration

The norm today sees businesses and people with vastly different skill sets working together. Those who fail to understand how to do this well will fall behind. There have been many instances where organisations have suffered or shut their doors due to a lack of local skills to solve problems — something that can often be fixed through collaboration and the right guidance. 

Slack’s latest research which surveyed 500 working professionals in Singapore and 2,000 across APAC, found that close to 90% of employees believe collaboration is important for business success. The same group of employees also believe that effective communication is the key contributing factor to an effective working relationship.

Successful collaboration often starts from the top as employees look to their leaders for guidance on how they should think and act within a team. To ensure that collaboration is a priority within your enterprise, leaders must proactively set the expectation of how their teams work together on a daily basis.

Collaborative leadership brings managers, executives and staff out of silos to work together. By integrating the spirit of collaboration directly into an enterprise’s culture — regardless of size or whether you’re a large global company — employees are more likely to work together organically rather than silo themselves off.

Start by making transparency and communication a priority on an organisational level. Visibility ensures everyone is on top of ongoing activities and serves as a compass steering teams towards a common direction. The ownership of roles, on the other hand, provides the team with a structure to allow for smooth execution.

Communication puts everyone on the same page, while fostering greater understanding between individuals and setting aside any nuanced differences. The more this is enforced as part of the culture, the more likely these practices can trickle outwards when working with external partners.

Technology in the age of collaboration

The role of implementing collaboration thankfully does not rely solely on people. There are a myriad of technology tools that when properly implemented, can shift the way enterprises work together. This includes using digital tools from messaging software to workflow management.

Leaders can leverage on these tools to facilitate communications between teams, vendors and build a wider sense of camaraderie and cohesion across departments or provide access to an archive of information that can be retrieved at any time to get work done.

However, having too many tools can get overwhelming, leading to disjointed processes internally. To combat this, it is key to consider the ones that are interoperable with other best of breeds tools available in the market, in order to ensure every team is aligned in the direction the company is moving in.

It is important to note that no single app or platform can fix a culture that’s fundamentally broken. But companies acting now can reshape their trajectories toward more aligned employees who innovate and feel empowered to make better decisions. The end result is always better outcomes.