3 simple questions to improve collaboration

Jun 01st

How many businesses do you know with the word ‘collaboration’ in their set of values? In my experience, there are dozens.

And yet, it’s one of those organisational goals that sometimes seems to run counter to human instincts. As we often say, ‘easy to understand – hard to do’. While everyone signs up to collaboration in principle, it’s certainly not easy to achieve in practice. There are always a thousand reasons why it comes more naturally to work with the people in your immediate team than the team on the next floor, or on another site.

At the most basic level, managers are busy, and talking to people who aren’t in your immediate loop takes time. It might achieve more for the success of the business than keeping your head down in the tunnel of yet another task, but it can be hard to keep that wider perspective.

What could this mean for your business? Improve your businesses collaboration efforts by asking these 3 questions:

  • Do you all have a shared vision of the strategy? Go round the table and ask people to describe it in their own words. You could be surprised how much the visions differ.
  • What is pulling you away from the shared commitment you have all made to the success of the business? An honest answer to this question from each key individual could form the basis of a fundamental re-think about how to re-energise the business and make it work for everyone.
  • Has everyone bought into the vision and the strategy? How do you know?  Engaging everyone from the ground up in the development of the way forward is the best way to make sure that, even when times are tough, people retain commitment to the business they have helped to shape.

Advancing your own agenda might win you a few battles. But it won’t win the campaign. And success in today’s economic climate means that focus on the wider campaign, and being willing to let go of any personal priorities that don’t serve the shared goals of the enterprise, could make the critical difference for your business.

This article is filed under: collaboration, communication, partnership

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