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Collaboration is such an awesome idea in principle, but when it comes down to implementation it doesn’t always come out so rosy. The determining factor of any collaboration tool’s success is participation. So before you even think about what tool to use, how are you going to get people to participate?

At the Zoho user conference, Zoholics, in Burlingame, California, I caught up with Jacob Morgan, Principal and Co-Founder of Chess Media Group and author of the upcoming book “The Collaborative Organization.”

One of the chapters in Morgan’s upcoming book is about how you get people to adopt collaboration.

I asked Morgan to offer up three tips:

  1. MUST have senior level support: It can’t just be the CEO saying, “Yeah, you should do this,” but rather he/she has to actively participate and encourage others to participate as well.
  2. Make it part of the normal workflow: People won’t collaborate if it’s an additional thing they need to do on top of their normal workflow. Let them access their current information through collaboration.
  3. Training and education: Teach employees why they should be using the tools, not just how to use them. Invite collaboration in how the organization does business and into the values or mission of the company. You can also use collaboration as a means to review employees. Morgan said some companies are experimenting with this technique.