Creating a collaborative culture during times of constant change
Collaboration is often seen as an activity that involves team members working on a project together. However, true collaboration is much more than an activity. It is a process with associated behaviours, that can be taught and developed, and one that maximizes individual contribution while leveraging the collective intelligence of everyone involved. It is the way in which a group of people come together to explore ideas which generate solutions that go beyond the vision of a single person
In a truly collaborative environment, everyone has a voice. When people understand their value, learn how to voice it, then everyone can contribute. When they understand how their contributions fit into their organisation’s strategy, it gives them purpose. With that purpose comes belief in their organisation. Purpose and belief translate into high levels of engagement, as people want to feel a sense of belonging and ownership, and as such, collaboration gains momentum as it creates an environment where people choose to belong.
Organisations have applied collaboration to teams or organisational levels (such as senior leadership) to break down silos, foster cross-functional activities, and to encourage better innovation. Collaboration will always give positive results, in addition to increasing innovation, collaboration increases employee energy, creativity, and productivity, which leads to less stressed, happier, and more engaged workers.
However, when collaboration is focused only on teams or a single level in an organisation, it can be difficult to sustain, and this makes the benefits of collaboration short lived. Once the organisation makes collaboration part of its culture throughout, true collaboration will provide sustained benefits such as:
- Fully engaged workers who are eager to take on new projects and challenges and who embrace change.
- Improved organisational flexibility and agility.
- Improved employee health, wellness, and performance.
- More productive and energised meetings.
- Higher retention rates.
- A competitive advantage when attracting top talent.
- The ability to develop and bring products faster to the market.
- Increased top-line revenue and better profitability.
A true collaboration culture will breathe new life into a company and reinvigorate employees. Sharing new ideas, skills, knowledge, best practice, and experiences, lets others see things from a different perspective, and will incentivise their own work in new directions, moving the company organisation forward on to a growth trajectory.
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