Partnerships and Collaboration: What Skills are Needed?
in response to Collaboration: Leadership in a Global Technological Environment
While the title of Walker and Elberson's article, "Collaboration: Leadership in a Global Technological Environment ," quickly captured my interest, I soon became bogged down by the numerous definitions and references in the early pages. I felt this article on a very important subject was missing the boat. However, I became encouraged when I began to read about shaping the implementation of the new environment. Then I knew I wanted to read on.
Walker and Elberson make an excellent point by noting that any tool that is used to share organizational information is a valuable tool. I, too, am of the mindset that we must maximize our use of technology to communicate with each other. It is crucial that organizations provide the necessary resources to facilitate this process.
Many organizational resources already available remain untapped as means of enhancing communication. Walker and Elberson suggest file sharing, along with use of the intranet, which is secure, as easily accessible tools. I can appreciate their suggestion that text chatting using networked computers is another valuable resource, especially when a team or task force scattered throughout an organization requires quick and immediate contact.
As nurses it is imperative that we maintain and continually enhance not only our hands-on patient care skills but also our communication skills, even when this involves reaching beyond our comfort zone. Traditionally nurses have been inclined to keep their knowledge and expertise contained within their immediate environment, thereby denying others the benefit of their knowledge. Walker and Elberson take a step forward by imploring nurses to realize that nursing is not a single-minded and independent activity, but rather an interpersonal and global activity. We cannot meet patients' needs by ourselves - we need communities. To meet these needs today we need to communicate with colleagues throughout the organization and around the world. Technology can assist in this process, and we should not attempt to ignore it. To benefit from each other's expertise we need to communicate in the most efficient and effective way we can. Doing so mandates we use technology.
Linda K. Goss, BS, RN
University of Louisville