Do you know the difference between communication and collaboration?

Do you know the difference between communication and collaboration?

Presented by Brief Communications

Communication is easy. It’s the collaboration that’s difficult. It’s a digital-first world now, with employees working remotely and offices spread across the world, or even in companies with flexible schedules and a great work-from-home policy. Most companies have got the communication part down, going all-in on online tools like Slack.

Cloud communication tools have been a lifesaver for many offices. They deliver synchronous communication for every employee and eliminate endless, time-consuming email chains. Employees are able to create various channels and groups, pull people together to discuss projects and timelines, and connect an office in ways that can be both social and productive, and create a collaborative environment.

Unfortunately, that’s not actually collaboration, says Gregor Dudash, CMO of Brief Communications.  “The problem is that most companies confuse communication with collaboration, and it isn’t exchanging Slack messages about a project,” he explains. “Collaboration is working collectively with your team to accomplish a goal, achieve a result, solve a problem. It’s the difference between sharing information and combining those pieces of data to create something new.”

Of course, communication doesn’t require collaboration, but without communication, you can’t collaborate. It sounds reductive and obvious, but it’s a simple, subtle truth that’s too easy to simply overlook. Right now, businesses are full up on communication tools – they need solutions that specifically center collaboration and eliminate the multi-channel distractions that chat solutions can sometimes create. Collaboration tools, says Dudash, should simply focus on helping their workforce seamlessly share files, set deadlines, brainstorm and meet up.

“By speeding up communication and making it less formal in attempts to bring B2B communication closer to C2C style, those tools have generated the culture of ‘fake engagement,’” he says. “Employees believe that if they’re actively responding in all chats, participating in calls or creating tasks, they’re bringing value. But they’re contributing to the process, not the results.”

Many companies do recognize the unavoidable limitations of chat tools. So to collaborate productively and accomplish company initiatives, they turn to a wide variety of digital tools, such as Trello for tasks, Figma for designers, Jira for developers. But that can just bring complexity to projects and tangle collaboration between departments, Dudash says.

“It prevents managers from doing their main job — actually paying attention to and managing their teams,” he explains. “Instead, they are disturbed by constantly tracking all these tools, modifying and editing meetings, following various chats, and looking after task completion.”

Collaborative tools ensure that there’s a single universal hub for sharing and using business data. Small- and medium-sized businesses and startups especially need an easy-to-use and lightweight solution for collaboration that foregoes catchy design and focuses on performance.

Brief Communication is an entrant into the collaboration tool field, with a mobile-first offering that combines chat, tasks, video, and audio calls on one platform. HUBS, or teams, help users focus on their most urgent tasks, and each HUB contains a different project. Communication isn’t the main focus — the tool helps users focus on real results with a one-at-a-time approach to tasks.

The tool gives company leaders and decision-makers a helicopter view into all of a company’s projects and activities as they move toward completing goals and gives managers a way to focus on performance results instead of micromanaging tasks on the way there.

Ultimately, the difference between communication and collaboration is simple — it’s just talking about a project versus establishing a team and working together on a single platform toward completing that initiative, no matter where in the world your team is — local or global, out of office, or all in the bullpen.

True collaboration, backed by online tools that make it easier to work together successfully and seamlessly on projects, make your company more inclusive, encourage diversity, and help foster innovation and creativity — and all those pieces together are the most important way to guarantee a company’s success.

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