I’ve been thinking about the conflict between the need to keep ones intellectual property (IP) secret vs the need to collaborate with large numbers of people and organizations in a fast fashion with a minimum amount of friction. The ideas of fast sharing and collaboration inside and outside an organization are inherently in conflict with the needs to keep IP protected.
Collaboration tools, methods and policies require that information access is only on a need to know basis and that approvals in some fashion necessary. Inherently that slows the move of information down and the resulting collaboration is slowed.
Certainly some vendors will tell us that ‘their tool’ doesn’t slow things down but we all know that they do. Setting groups and complicated permissions to manage need to know is overhead and slows down the communications in the organization. New employees, new partners, new projects all require administration and setup.
The other camp would argue that speed wins and that as my friend Rich Becks recently said to me, information is perishable and moving fast with high quality collaboration and fast learning will win in the long run.
Certainly both are needed and an proper balance point must be found for each organization’s needs. IP must be protected and especially the key IP of the company must be protected. However, I do tend to think that speed wins.
What are your opinions and lessons learned in this regard?