Not Listening image

“There Was NO Collaboration!!!”

Thu, 07 Jun 2018

Knowledge may be power, but collaboration is king. if you are more interested in running an open, progressive, productive organization than a fiefdom, read on. 

There was NO collaboration!

Can you imagine anyone in a leadership position shouting out such a claim without blushing today? Surely not!

This phase sounds like an accusation to me, but I’ve worked in environments where it was closer to a boast. Corporate silos, each overseen by a leader who ran their operation with all the authority of a feudal warlord, sure that the most direct path to the top must be paved with the bodies of their peers. Knowledge was power, and the sharing of information akin to treachery.

Maybe I’m exaggerating, but not my much. As Patrick Lencioni put it in his book Silos, Politics and Turf Wars :

Silos – and the turf wars they enable – devastate organizations. They waste resources, kill productivity, and jeopardize the achievement of goals.

These days, progressive organisations know that collaboration is king. The sharing of information is critical to the empowerment of individuals, and this in turn promotes productivity and job satisfaction, leading to happier customers and healthier bottom lines. 

There are about as many lists of collaboration benefits as there are books and articles on the subject. Rather than create a new Top 5, here’s the one Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends came up with in her article 5 Benefits of Collaboration in your Small Business, and my paraphrasing of those benefits:

  1. More efficient processes - things flow more smoothly and get done right the first time.
  2. Better communication - overcome fragmented, incomplete or siloed information.
  3. Tapping into employee strengths - working together allows people to focus on activities most suited to their individual abilities and interests.
  4. Access to better workers - more flexibility in terms of geography, working from home etc., broadens the pool of potential staff.
  5. More satisfied customers - workers who are happy, good at what they do and able to work efficiently will translate into better service for your customers.

To quote Anita again, here is what typically happens when you don't have access to collaboration tools, or a culture that supports their effective use:

Instead of important information being readily available to all...it’s buried in individual inboxes. Or one person was told about something, but never shared that with others on the team who need to know.

 

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