Bringing up collaboration within an organization can make eyes roll in some and strike fear in others. It conjures up memories of group projects in school where you were either left to do the work of many or even worse let down by others and forced to absorb a bad grade. It can also conjure up the dread of having to deal with a co-worker or client they can’t stand. However any successful leader knows that collaboration is not a dirty word. Working well in teams and making the most of diverse talent and insights available makes for highly successful organizations.
Collaboration within your organization should utilize not only multiple departments but also multiple levels of leadership – from your entry level employees to your CEO – everyone has opportunities to learn while working together. Collaboration encourages team members to ask questions and glean information that goes beyond the scope of their position. This creates well rounded, knowledgeable individuals who have the versatility to move between departments.
Collaboration can change and support corporate culture.. It keeps a company from growing stagnant while energizing and motivating employees. Collaboration takes people out from behind their desk and forces communication, team work and thinking of things in new and different ways. It is how new leaders emerge and are developed.
The challenge for most individuals and organizations is that there are no tools for success or rules of the road. So, before you make a case for collaboration within your organization, you’ll need to make sure the proper elements are put in place.
Keys To Collaboration
- Establish a communication policy and build trust between all parties involved
- Create and articulate a clear vision and desired outcome
- Clarify expectations, accountability and consequences for failure to adhere to deadlines
- Ensure everyone comes to the table not necessarily to get along, but to communicate and collaborate effectively
Collaboration, when done properly, can lead to tremendous growth for both the individuals and organizations involved.