Are you old enough to remember the aerobics craze in the ’80s? Denise Austin donned her leotard and leg warmers, and Richard Simmons sweat to the oldies on The Love Boat in his sparkling tank tops and white crew socks. Whether you went to a class at the gym or purchased a VHS, your big aerobics decision was “low-impact” or “high-impact?”
During low-impact aerobics, at least one foot remained on the ground at all times. These sessions were considered:
- good for beginners
- a gradual way to reach your goal
High-impact aerobics included lots of jumping and running, so these sessions were considered:
- good for those with experience
- a quicker way to reach your goal
Do you see where I’m going with this? Let’s apply this concept to collaboration!
Low-Impact vs. High-Impact Collaboration
When I ask teams how they collaborate, these are their typical answers: paper documents, emails, reports, phone conversations, wiki boards, IM/Chat, and text message. This is low-impact collaboration! It’s safe, it’s easy, it’s what they’ve always done, it keeps the team busy, but it takes longer to get results.
On the other hand, high-impact collaboration gets the “right work” done faster, which maximizes the value to the organization and the end-user.
High-impact collaboration includes:
- face to face conversations in small groups
- visuals (in-person or virtual)
- whiteboard drawings (in-person or virtual)
- sticky notes (in-person or virtual)
- silent thinking then group dialog (in-person or virtual)
Look at your day, which communication and collaboration modes are you using?
A transition to high-impact collaboration might feel risky, but it’s essential for better, faster requirements!