Collaboration is at the heart of value creation in many businesses today. The challenges around productive collaboration are huge, no matter if it takes place across the boundaries of functions, different areas of specialization, countries, or in the virtual space.
The Collaborative leader is someone who wants to achieve results by stimulating collaboration among peers. Collaborative leaders routinely request input from their employees to create trust, allowing for open collaboration to achieve common goals within the organization. Sharing information and exchanging best practices, reduce the need to protect turf, and breaks down silos. Willingness to start over again if distrust emerges must take place until trust is re-established.
Are you a collaborative leader?
Do conversations foster collaboration and sharing across boundaries allowing for a team decision with people from diverse backgrounds instead of one person?
To what extent and in what ways are you setting the tone for cross-organizational partnering?
When, where, and how are colleagues invited to share information, exchange best practices, and reduce the need to feel cautious?
Shift from telling to asking
Do you tell people what to do? Or ask them for their ideas?
Employees are your most valuable asset, and if you want to see your profitability increase you will have to let go of your traditional management style and adopt a collaborative leadership style, which will empower your people. Collaborative leadership requires empathy, motivating and agility to adapt.
Little collaboration could have a Negative Impact on your organization: profits that suffer and individuals who lose the opportunity to work in an environment that energizes teams, releases creativity and makes working together both productive and happy. The “silo mentality” and knowledge reserved behaviors are wasting the kind of collective brainpower that could save your organization money. Companies cannot compete externally if they can’t first collaborate internally.
Changing your workplace culture to a collaborative environment
In order to create a collaborative workplace, management and leadership teams must adopt a collaborative approach. Collaboration, and cooperation are almost impossible to establish in environments where turf wars and over competitiveness exists. No one wants to lose. Competition is ingrained in our corporate culture.
Do individuals in your organizations feel secure to have regular, open, and non-judgmental discussions as part of collaborative problem solving?
Is it possible to have everyone as part of the same conversation to become aligned on what success looks like and how to achieve it together?
Focus on keeping conversations open, collaborative, and non-oppositional. During social interactions, lead by example to inspire collective collaboration of employees. Navigate conversations that stimulate higher levels of collaboration. Let your employees be aware of your collaborative intention. Encourage truthfulness and accountability.