I’m sure that most of us have been involved in a collaboration of some sort over the course of our working life.
Sometimes they are great, sometimes they are most definitely NOT!
We know that creating collaborative teams, whether in your organisation or more broadly across your industry, can increase ideas, save money and result in better project outcomes. And yet, too often we sit independently within our silos, frantically working on projects with looming deadlines, wondering if we’re doing the right thing.Creating collaborative teams, whether in your organisation or more broadly across your industry, can increase ideas, save money and result in better project outcomes Click To Tweet
I’ve been really fortunate to have worked on a number of collaborative projects over my career, as an employee when I ran conferences, when I worked in government and was on projects that spanned across my department, as well as a couple of projects that spanned across the whole of government. I loved these projects because they meant I had the chance to meet new and interesting people and to learn more about the topic I was working on.
Since consulting I’ve been involved with quite a few collaborative research projects where I’ve provided strategic communication advice from the start of the project. Those collaborations that have been the most successful, and have given me the most joy, are those that have had a clear purpose, strong leadership and a solid strategy. I’ve also been involved in collaborations with friends and other small business owners.
Those that have been hideous are the ones where there was a distinct lack of trust, poorly formed timeframes, and little regard for the skills and attributes each team member had to offer. Generally, these projects only paid lip service to the word collaboration, which meant there were always tears, and often tantrums!
The collaborations that were successful were due to us, as a team, having mutual respect for each other, we usually trusted each other, and we were all committed to the project and the collective goal or outcome. We definitely didn’t always agree, but we always came to an agreement – with varying amounts of compromise!
I see a lot of potential for collaboration and a lot of organisations that seem scared of it.
The main reasons I see for organisations not collaborating are:
- don’t see understand the benefits of collaborating
- they don’t want to seem silly or wrong
- when they have previously collaborated it’s been with someone who has taken all the glory
- they are so entrenched in their silo they don’t know how – or they don’t even think to collaborate
- they work for leaders who are creating their own kingdom and don’t want to share what they know as they are worried it will be used to undermine their authority.
This is crazy because there is so much research that show successful collaboration increases productivity, lowers costs and improves the health of your people
The next time you think about not collaborating, think about this: collaboration brings teams closer together, it helps you problem solve, it can save money, it helps people get to know each other, it opens up channels of communication and conversation and it leads to higher retention rates.
When was the last time you instigated a collaboration and how did it turn out? I’d love to know!
If you want to talk about how you can collaborate more in your organisation, or you need some support to develop a collaborative team, please get in touch.
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