Is collaboration an integral part of how you do business?
Are you managing the collaboration organization process effectively?
Studies have shown if collaboration is not done correctly, it will produce weaker results.
Sure, we’re told collaboration is often the best way to solve a prickly problem. People bring fresh insights to table, jostle ideas into action, and create safeguards against potential pitfalls. There shouldn’t be a downside, right?
A 2012 study published in Psychology Today found that people working towards a common solution were so confident in their final product, that their sense of judgement became clouded in terms of accuracy and efficiency. This led to a severe blindspot.
If a team believes they’re making the best decision, but are incapable of detecting a blindspot, “collaboration” is only another way to fail. “Oops” probably won’t be understood by their client.
What carries a heavier price tag than mistaken “group think”?
The organization of the actual collaboration process.
When a team is being assembled and working together, individuals are called upon to contribute. The higher up an individual is within an organization, the necessity for them to collaborate increase exponentially. For smaller companies, this becomes even more painstakingly important and potentially costlier; employees and managers may wear more hats and carry varying responsibilities. Not only does this makes their time precious, but with one person thinking about different roles, safeguarding against “group think” becomes challenging. Most companies are daunted by the task. Creating an efficient collaboration system is complex—but possible with the right mentality and tools.
How can your company make internal collaboration more effective than the status quo?
1. Partner up
Create teams that have different vantage points, experiences, and possess various strengths and weaknesses. They will be able to play off each other and enhance the other’s skill. Look for external collaboration with other companies or complimentary industries. Harvard Business Review advises to enact three steps when looking to partner up: self-analyze your own company’s strength and weakness, look for chemistry on the human side (find someone you’d love to work with), and find compatibility beyond product or finance: look for similar philosophical approaches to business. The collaboration organization process goes beyond communication and teamwork; it’s a philosophy and priority.
2. Assign clear responsibilities
Roles within a team are imperative to dispense in the beginning. According to a 2015 Gallup study, nearly 50 percent of US workers don’t know what is expected of them at the workplace. Only 38 percent of managers engage employees in clarifying a role’s tasks. Decide who is selling and meeting with potential clients or who is building the financial model. When an individual is assigned a clear role, they confidently engage in complete ownership. Other team members are then obligated to keep them accountable. Be sure to clearly communicate those “All Hands On Deck” sessions. You can easily coordinate around team member’s vacations or doctors appointments with absence.io. Have an overview of which people are in the office, or easily block out a day when all employees are required to be at the brainstorming table.
3. Group Meetings Should Be the Time for Prepared Creativity
Before team members meet for a formal session, insist on every one completing their tasks and being up-to-date on the “hard facts”. You don’t want to be one of the companies that takes 300,000 hours in a year for meetings. With everyone prepared (and using “filler words” mindfully), the in-person meeting will be more productive, more creative juices will flow, and solutions will manifest sooner. If there are any changes to the pre-meeting facts, update team members immediately, giving them the freedom to prepare for a successful collaboration meeting.