In larger organisations where there are several departments, there are often barriers to effectively communicating and collaborating to achieve business outcomes, as a result of "silo" behaviour. Social Media Ellis Jones . The negative impacts of such silos can range from needless time-wasters such as duplication of work or repeated mistakes;but left untamed over time this behaviour becomes ingrained across the company. Systemic issues such as negative reputation in the marketplace, high staff turnover, increased customer complaints and profit losses are the worst case scenarios. One way of promoting collaboration in a large organisation is to use social media tools like Yammer or LinkedIn Groups , which exist for this very reason and are game-changers in the corporate world. Everyday, more of the workforce learns how these tools can be used to help their daily and long-term goals. Collaboration between organisations is happening increasingly as a result of social media and can be instrumental in increasing visibility and reach. It's important to recognise that they make life easier rather than merely adding something to your "to do" list. You just need to make the head-shift required to use them. While smaller companies and "start-ups" are more agile and flexible in their approaches to communication and teamwork, they are not exempt from the dangers of misappropriated internal communication. Often getting away with a yell across the office as a "brief" or being able to get Managing Director sign-off as quickly as one swivel of a desk chair, it may seem unnecessary for management to actively foster discussion of ideas, WIP meetings where problems are collectively solved, listening and creative brainstorming across teams and functions. However, any smaller company that wants to grow its market share must build in successful behaviours from the early stages, which can solidify into a collaborative and productive company culture in the long run. What is the antithesis of collaboration? Competitiveness. A healthy dollop of competition in the workplace is needed to motivate staff to add more notches to their desk legs as well as drive the company forward. Yet, we tend to avoid making others look good, unless it makes us look good too (or we are confident enough that we will receive the credit for it). Keeping ideas to ourselves and processes or frameworks we've developed to do better in our own work (that'smyIP!) can assist in creating a competitive advantage. While this competitiveness is human nature, it becomes counter-productive when it's all about the advancement of the self to the detriment of others and the business. To avoid quelling competitiveness, recognition must be given to any staff member who instigates change or facilitates discussion and drives outcomes with a collaborative approach. These people are natural leaders. Remember, being a leader does not mean being bossy, controlling or having staff under you. It means you empower others to lead themselves by thinking independently and making good decisions and sharing your knowledge and ideas with others to ensure success is part of everyone's repetoire. Management: you cannot make collaboration part of the company culture on your own! These natural leaders are the "champions" and "advocates" of your business both internally and externally.They must be identified, their names and contact details shared with all staff. Recognising them makes them accountable for their behaviour and breeds positive leadership in collaborative practice rather than conflict and competition. Social Media Ellis Jones . CourseMonster collaborates with all the best training companies Globally and consolidates learning for it's clients. We manage your learning needs and streamline your training budget to get the best training available at prices to meet your budget. To find out more visit our web site www.CourseMonster.com .   );