There is a reasonably uncomplicated vision behind the concept of “World-Ready Collaboration”. People in organizations of all variety find themselves working with others over a distance. Whether that distance leads to the next building or the next continent is, almost, irrelevant. Either extreme is enough to prevent that most productive event of face-to-face collaboration from occurring.
In part, World-Ready Collaboration concerns itself with solving the problems introduced by distance. How might we use technology to bring the benefits of face-to-face collaboration to people who must work some distance from each other?
I say that World-Ready Collaboration is concerned with distance, “in part”, because distance introduces a few other problems that will need attention. Time, specifically time zone, becomes an issue at distance. I live in Tampa, Florida where clocks are set to Eastern Standard Time (UTC – 5). If I need to work with someone in Pensacola, also in Florida, I need to do some math. Pensacola, you see, uses Central Standard Time (UTC – 6). Appointments have been missed because of this simple detail.
Likewise, language presents challenges at distance. While English has grown to be lingua franca in the fields of business and diplomacy, not everyone is a business leader or a diplomat. I plan to explore language issues in some depth and will not dwell on them here. Suffice it to say that language will cause impedance in the collaborative process wherever it can.
Finally, we also have matters of law that arise as distance plays its hand. I am neither a lawyer nor any sort of expert on international law, but a cursory view of the headlines shows us that there is trouble ahead. Between German privacy laws, European Union data export regulations, and the U.S. Patriot Act, there are potential pitfalls on the way to solving the problems of distance.
In summary, World-Ready Collaboration is about how technology might provide the best collaborative experience to people regardless of where in the World they are. I will be writing on this blog to explore the issues and to demonstrate solutions that technology offers.