Groupware and the Motivation to Use It

By Deane Barker

Here’s a thought: there’s big money in collaboration apps. Not building new ones, but instead training and motivating people to use the ones they have.

Is this a problem in your office? You get Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes or Groove or a packaged Intranet…then no one uses it. You train them and demonstrate to them what they can do with it. Still, no one uses it. Eventually it dies from lack of attention.

We don’t need a new app, we need to use the apps we have. The groupware and collaboration technology on the market today far exceeds what we use. How many billions of dollars have been spent on apps that didn’t do much more than the current one, but that management was convinced was the silver bullet to “get everyone on the same page”? It no-doubt met the same tidal wave of apathy and drowned under it.

It’s not a matter of functionality. It’s not even a matter of training. It’s a matter of motivation. We have the technology, we know how to use it, but we don’t. Why do people resist change in this sense and how to you get them to start using the tools they have? Threats? Incentives? Eliminating the alternative?

I’m convinced there’s a big opportunity for a motivational speaker to dip his or her toe in technology training and start approaching this problem from a new perspective.

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