Business Management

Isaac Garcia (Global) - Knowing "The 9 Types of Collaborators" Helps Drive User Engagement

There is no doubt that adoption of cloud-based collaboration tools are on the rise in the enterprise, but technology is only part of the equation. Realistically, there is still quite a lot of confusion as to what collaboration is, who should be using it and how to get everyone within the team onboard.

Within every organization are different types of users who each prefer to work in their own unique ways. Some prefer to work in groups, others in silos, some on iPads, others on pen and paper and so forth. And they have different needs - sharing files, keeping up with changes and versions, managing projects, automating annoying manual processes, searching for topic experts and more.

Learning to recognize the different types of collaborators and their reasoning for loving - or hating - collaboration will help you overcome internal barriers or user objections. Knowing that collaboration tools must be adaptable to suit certain personalities and working styles, we at Central Desktop have put a lot of thought and research into learning about the different types of collaborators in order to help our customers drive user engagement. As a result, Central Desktop customers who have gone through a structured implementation achieved a 50% better user adoption rate, deployed 66% more project and team workspaces, and even uploaded, created and collaborated on five times more business content within the platform.

Since it's been proven that "knowing your audience" helps with engagement, we wanted to share "The 9 Types of Collaborators", from the Stealth Ninja who lurks in the background to the Ringleader who rallies the troops at every turn.

The 9 Types of Collaborators:

Ringleader - Anything but a behind-the-scenes person, this big-idea champion helps other team members arrive at "a-ha" moments. They begin a lot of discussions, bookmark interesting content and add thought-provoking comments to files and discussions. Their creative energy seeps into and influences team members across all departments.

Expert - The go-to person for questions about collaboration technology and best practices for your organization, this person looks beyond the normal file-sharing and project management capabilities of a collaboration solution and finds interesting and innovative ways to automate his or her work by leveraging sophisticated workflows, databases and other advanced features. Borderline geek, Experts are always experimenting, sharing new hacks on the Internet, and custom coding to create the coolest-looking workspaces on the block. Oh, and they usually have the most interesting desk toys and gadgets.

Siloist - The Siloist enjoys working alone and is reluctant to share only because he or she is not used to it. Siliosts tend to be a bit absent from the workspaces they're part of and like to do most work offline. They are actually most at risk of losing files and work because they prefer not to save and backup regularly to the cloud - and they are also always the last to realize, if ever at all, that the Internet is down.

Dinosaur - Not the most tech-savvy person in the organization, a creature of habit and uncomfortable with new ways of doing things. The Dinosaur tends to stick to traditional methods of work. While the Expert might equate managing projects by email to banging two rocks together to create fire, the Dinosaur prefers to be cloaked in his sanctuary of the status quo. The Dinosaur does not embrace a new tool without some encouragement, so it is extremely important that the collaboration solution be simple and intuitive.

Stealth Ninja - A covert collaborator, the Stealth Ninja is the one who lurks, quietly moving from workspace to workspace viewing other people's work that piques their interest. Stealth Ninjas are usually the first to view a file, even if they're not part of the team. They usually abstain from commenting unless absolutely necessary, with the only evidence of their presence being an entry on the audit log.

Executive - Usually a decision-maker in your company or department who has limited time, yet wants or needs to be involved at a high level. Speed, efficiency and convenience are of utmost importance to the Executive, who prefers to communicate feedback and final decisions via email rather than logging into a system. When the Executive does log in, the purpose is usually to take in the status of various projects as opposed to actively engaging or working on a project at a detail level.

Socialite - Born to be social, these people are storytellers and connectors. Sharing project details and updates come as second nature to Socialites because they are more than used to sharing on a regular basis via Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr... you get the point. The Socialite always has a newly updated status, helps carry on conversations and encourages others to engage. Socialites are great for easing those who are less accustomed to open communication into being more social.

Skeptic - A somewhat vocal opponent to collaboration, Skeptics can often be detractors because they decentralize knowledge and communication when refusing to use the collaboration workspace. There is hope for Skeptics though, as they can ultimately be won over if convinced that the WIIFM (What's In It For Me?) quotient is high enough.

Taskmaster - Taskmasters may err on the OCD side or simply be organized to the extreme. No detail is too small, no action item goes unassigned and no audit log unread. The Taskmaster is operationally focused, using collaboration tools fully to execute on project plans and is the one you can expect will follow up with a task list of action items five minutes after your call ends (and you're grateful for it!).

So, which one are you? Find out by taking this quiz.

By Isaac Garcia, CEO & co-founder of Central Desktop



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