What is collaboration?

Collaboration is when people work together with the same goals and vision.

Collaboration requires communication and a fluid movement of ideas, which are grounded in respect and honesty.

What are the benefits of collaboration?

Improves productivity, engagement, skills and teamwork.

Encourages sharing, flexibility and adaptability of ideas.

Fuels creativity.

Builds trust.

Things to consider before collaboration.

Relationships – are there any personality clashes in the team? Can you reorganise to allow for this? Or proactively address it?

Face-time – how will the team communicate? Collaboration can be less efficient when contact is largely virtual.

Openness – honest, constructive feedback is crucial to a collaborative culture, and that requires trust.

Four steps to creating a collaborative culture

  1. Communicate your plans: set out a vision – explain clearly how and why you want the team to collaborate. Establish mechanisms – define and agree how collaboration will function on a practical level.
  2. Create the right environment: break down physical boundaries if possible – open-plan work, meeting or break-out spaces encourage collaboration. Cultivate a community feel – connect the team inside and outside work through social events. Have regular huddles – updating each other on individual progress can prevent duplication of effort and help build ideas.
  3. Focus on team roles: makes roles and responsibilities clear – this motivates and encourages productivity. It can also help utilise the talents within the team effectively. Define ownership – giving people ownership and authority over their roles helps them be more accountable to the rest of team for their own work.
  4. Lead by example: share knowledge – this encourages team engagement and establishes trust. Be open to feedback – this will encourage others to do the same.

Good luck!

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