Often, a single word or concept can make huge difference for leaders and their organizations. I’ve written about some of these in the past: Inspire, Team, Hope, Diversity, Momentum and more. Today, let’s take a look at a word that is certainly trending: Collaboration.
Why all the recent fascination about an idea that has been around for so long? I don’t think the concept has changed, I think the context has. Never before in history has information been more ubiquitous or the world moved at a more dizzying pace. These factors combined with a more globally competitive landscape and increasing complexity make this tried and true concept shine with relevance.
[tweet_box design="box_16_at" author="@LeadersServe"]Collaboration may not be the most efficient way to work, but I believe it is the most effective.[/tweet_box]
Collaboration is a time-tested practice on the path to greater results. The concept is so elementary it doesn’t need much explanation or defense. If you can create the environment for men and women to pool their experience, expertise, education and passion to tackle your most challenging problems, you can create huge competitive advantage.
My new team, still less than a year old, is working hard on collaboration. We have our sites set so high we are calling it Radical Collaboration. We're making real progress but as it turns out, it's much easier to talk about radical collaboration than it is to achieve it.
The truth is none of us have ever been part of a group with the levels of collaboration we are pursuing. In addition to the ideas I shared in my post 5 Dementors of Collaboration, here are some of the obstacles we are working to overcome…
Individual ownership. Our people care deeply about their work and their contribution to the success of the organization. On the surface, this is a really good thing. However, it is a two-edged sword. The good news, work gets done; the bad news, it may get done without the collaborative input of the team. We are looking to defeat the “I’ll just do it myself” mindset.
Physical space. I’ve written about this in a couple of posts on The Future of Work. We have experienced first-hand the challenges space provides when a group of people attempt to really work together. We are currently moving from a 19th century space paradigm to 21st century approach. We are excited about the implications for our team.
Time on task. Here’s one of our biggest discoveries to date: We have to invest more time together to gain the benefits we seek. Time together is the price you pay for better results. We are discovering this can be both formal, scheduled time, and informal. Regardless, time is essential to be a more collaborative team.
Volume of work. Collaboration is not the most efficient way to work. However, we believe it is the most effective way to work. The more work we have to do the more we need to collaborate; even though it requires more time. This may feel counterintuitive – it is!
If you want to take the performance of your team and your organization to the next level, why not chase Radical Collaboration? If you do, be prepared for a wild and productive ride![GLS_Shield]
What inhibits collaboration on your team?