How Effective Is Your Internal Collaboration?

WARNING: Poor Collaboration Could be Costing You 1.9 Days Each Week!

Imagine if a new piece of technology – a new device or app – promised to save you 1, 3 or even 5 hours a week, would you be interested? Perhaps you might even consider it worth paying a couple of hundred dollars for!  Well, there is a way to save that time – and indeed multiples of it – and it does not require any new technology!

Return on Collaboration™ – is a measurement of how different means of internal collaboration and teamwork impact (both positively and negatively) on business performance and innovation, as well as employee engagement and even well-being.

Learn about our pioneering research into the Return on Collaboration™ using the menu above, or contact us (using the form below) to measure the ROTE for your Organization, business unit or team.


At any point in time, up to 37% of leaders are engaged in meetings (or other forms of internal collaboration) that add little or no value!!

(2 mins)

There is a ‘dirty little secret' in many organizations.  It is the amount of time spent on internal collaboration that does not add value. 

Now, new data lifts the lid on poor internal collaboration and the major drag it represents for managers and their teams.  Most importantly, it highlights strategies to boost the effectiveness of internal collaboration.


Here is an overview of the data based on extensive industry bench-marking and the business case it generates for improved collaboration.  To get the data for your own organization or team, talk to us.


The WARNING is a stark on: Poor Collaboration Could be Costing You 1.9 Days Each Week!  That is based on new data on the amount of time spend in internal collaboration that does not add value.


Pitstop Analytics™ will calculate the cost poor internal collaboration for your org./team.

Why ROC?  Wasted Time & Resources

Organizations spend big money hiring the best talent only to put them working in environments where 37% of their time will be wasted!!

Why ROC?  The Whopping Cost

The total time spent by a team of 10 people on non-value adding internal collaboration can be estimated at the equivalent of almost 4 team members working full-time.

Now, do the math – imagine the cost for a team of 100, 1000, or more!


Why ROC?   The Opportunity Cost  

Imagine the projects, strategies and innovations that could have been pursued if people had up to 37% more time and energy.


Why ROC?  The Business Case 

Let's calculate the business case for more effective collaboration. To do this we will switch from calculating costs to estimating benefits, expressing the lost time as a potential gain to the team and its members (as shown in the diagram).

Pitstop Analytics™ will calculate the business case for improved internal collaboration for your org./team.

Why ROC?   Other Benefits

Return on Collaboration™ is not just about saving of time and money.  There are the equally important, but more difficult to quantify benefits. For example, reduced stress and frustration on the one hand and increased energy and engagement on the other.  These are shown in the diagram.


Why ROC?  The ‘Canary in the Mine'

The ability of collaborate effectively is a barometer of the health of an organization or team. It is the ‘Canary in the mine' of the health of an organization or team.

Why ROC?   Collaborative Performance

Return on Collaboration™ is a broad and complex topic. It is not just about time wasted on poorly organized internal meetings, but more fundamentally an issue of individual and collaborative performance.


Why ROC?  The Changing Shape of the Organization

Challenges around internal collaboration are acerbated by the fast-changing shape of the modern organization.  In the quest for greater agility and innovation, organizations are in transition from hierarchy to matrix.

There is a new emphasis on cross-functional, as well as inter and intra-team collaboration.  But as the Return on Collaboration™ suggest such a radical transformation is not an easy one to make.  Enabling organizations to become effective networks of teams is a primary objective of measuring and managing ROC.

Why ROC?   Collaborative Performance

Return on Collaboration™ becomes increasingly important in a VUCA age, where speed, innovation and agility are key.  Also in respect of the Future of Work which promises fundamental shifts in the nature of the workforce, the work and how it is done.

While technology is a key enabler of collaboration, it can, if not used effectively, actually decrease ROC.


Internal Meeting Overload: What is the real cost?

Diaries are full and email inboxes are overflowing, but is all the work generated by internal collaboration actually adding value.  Well, now you can find out.

The concept behind Return on Collaboration™ is powerful, yet simple. It says that collaboration always has a price – a price in terms of time, energy, focus and so on. The question is: What kind of return does it generate for the individuals involved, as well as for the organization or team? That return can also be measured in terms of time, energy, ideas and so on.
How is ROTE Calculated?

Return on Collaboration™ (ROC) can now be measured at the level of an organization, business unit or team.  Here is how it works:

Return on Collaboration™ is calculated based on data provided by leaders and their teams through a secure online platform.  It takes each leader 26 minutes online to participate.

A proprietary algorithm calculates Return on Collaboration™ based on thousands of data points based on all the individual responses and leveraging bench-marking data across 47 markets and 12 industries.

Return on Collaboration™ is more than a number.  Big data visualization is used to model the barriers to effective internal collaboration, as well as the strategies for maximizing its effectiveness.

The time you spend on internal meetings has been rising steadily. So, you won't be surprised that leaders generally report spending an average of 70% of their time on internal collaboration. However, what will surprise you is data showing how much of this is actually wasted.

In this short whitepaper we will explore the real-world Return on Collaboration™ based on data from 900 leaders. We will calculate the cost of poor collaboration in terms of time and wages, but also in terms of energy and engagement. Finally, we will build the business case for tackling the issue of poor collaboration within your organization or team.

Return on Collaboration™
Podcast Video

(25 mins)

Here is a C-Level summary of our Return on Collaboration™ Research:

The Typical Week – Choosing How You Spend Your Time

Imagine it is mid-morning on Thursday. You have 3 choices:

You need to do (b), you would like to do (c), but chances are you are already on your way to yet another internal meeting (a). But think again! How much is another internal meeting going to actually contribute to the success of your week. Well, chances are very little. To use more technical language – the payback (what we call Return on Collaboration™) is likely to be poor.

How Much Time Is Spent on Collaboration?

The data tells us that leaders are spending an average of 70% of their time on internal collaboration(1). That includes time spent on emails, calls and meetings with colleagues on their team, as well as on other teams, departments and functions. Apply this data to a 5 day working week and it means that from Tuesday lunchtime onward is spent on internal collaboration (shown as black in the diagram below).

Most of the typical working week is now spent on internal collaboration (i.e. 3.6 days). It accounts for all of Tuesday afternoon, together with the full day on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday too! That is a lot of collaboration, but how much of this is effective or worthwhile?

How Much Collaboration Is Effective?

The data tells us that just under half of all collaboration (i.e. 47%) adds real value, the rest does not. Apply this data to the typical work week and the following picture (2) emerges:

Of the time spent collaborating 47% adds value. In other words it helps people to get their work done, solve important problems, or otherwise make progress. This ‘good' collaboration accounts for 1.7 days each week, or Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday. But it ends at 10 am on Thursday – from there on the typical week is spent on collaboration that adds little or no value.

This brings us right back to where we started – the decision at the beginning of this article – to go golfing or to another meeting.  It is time to make an informed decision!

Our Return on Collaboration™ research is build upon the core frameworks to be found in:

Click for sample chapters

Background & Methodology

This whitepaper is based on our ongoing program of applied research and joint discovery with leaders from business units and teams within over 975 organizations (such as Pfizer, ARUP, SES and Almac.

Research is based on data gathered via our performance analytics platform –  Pitstop Analytics™ and the research frameworks published in our books Pitstop to Perform™™ and Growth Pitstop™

A very special thank you to all those who have contributed to and guided our research.

Delve deeper into the research whitepaper:

Frustrated by the amount of time spend on internal meetings?
Talk to us.

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* Pitstop Analytics™ data set.

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