It's not enough to just collaborate -- CIOs need extreme collaboration (XC), according to Gartner's report Six Best Practices for Moving to a Culture of Extreme Collaboration.

"Collaboration is a critical activity in many operational business processes, both structured and unstructured," said Janelle Hill, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "An XC environment is essentially a virtual war room or crisis center, where people can come together to collaboratively work on a shared purpose."

To enable a culture of extreme collaboration, Gartner identified six things CIOs can do:

  • Use a virtual meeting place. Gartner encouraged CIOs to switch from traditional methods of collaboration such as face-to-face meetings or email and embrace virtual collaboration tools, such as social media.
  • Take advantage of technology trends. While some organizations might see the incessant use of texting and Facebook as a distraction, Gartner recommends taking advantage of the behavior by incorporating  it into work. The real-time component of these technologies could have great benefit to the organization.
  • Engage the public. Social media and crowd sourcing are powerful tools that should be utilized to solve problems.
  • Adjust reward systems. These systems should reward group collaboration rather than individual efforts to encourage collaboration.
  • Analyze social media use. Monitor people's social network influence and identify "strong social networks where a foundation of trust and respect exist," at which point you can use those relationships to "address some critical, cross-boundary process performance challenge."
  • Plan group events. To get people thinking differently and using non-traditional forms of collaboration, consider some new approaches, such as using online games for collaboration or turning off email for stretches throughout the day.

Read more about Gartner's extreme collaboration on Gartner.com.

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