What is collaboration? In Let’s Stop Confusing Cooperation and Teamwork with Collaboration, I define collaboration as “two or more people working together to create something new in support of their shared vision.”
Collaboration is different from cooperation or coordination in that you collaborate around a shared vision, and something new is created as a result of your joint effort.
Is collaboration a problem-solving technique? . . . Yes. It can lead to break-through solutions.
Is collaboration a tool for innovation? . . . Yes. It can lead to creative ideas that lead to pivotal changes.
Is collaboration an attribute of organizational culture? . . . Yes. It can describe organizations where people effectively work across boundaries to produce spectacular results.
Collaboration is all . . . → Read More: What Is Collaboration and Where Does It Begin?
There are six ways teams can make decisions. Some people believe that in a collaborative environment, consensus is the best. But that’s a big mistake.
Pushing for consensus when it’s not needed actually makes collaboration more difficult. The best collaborative environments are situational in their approach to team decision-making.
You make countless decisions every day. Knowing when and how you need to involve others, and the best team decision-making method for each situation, will help you make the right decisions, will make implementation easier and will save time in the long run.
The Six Types of Team Decisions
Individual. The individual who is responsible for the outcome makes the decision. If your office is running low on pens, the office manager can decide . . . → Read More: Situational Team Decision-Making: Collaboration Does Not Require Consensus
If you are tired of “us vs. them” attitudes… if you are feeling frustrated or hopeless about those who don’t agree with your views… if you are concerned about the polarization in this world today… if you are waiting for leadership that unites instead of divides…
… the best place to start is by taking responsibility for yourself.
Polarization is Self-Reinforcing
If you only talk with people who agree with you and only read and listen to news sources that hold your own viewpoint, you will get distorted, filtered information that simply reinforces your viewpoint.
Unless we let go of foregone conclusions, only looking for proof of what we already believe, we are doomed to be stuck at deeply opposing, unresolvable poles.
Set your viewpoint . . . → Read More: 4 Steps Toward Collaborative Leadership
I was delighted to catch up with Jake Jacobs, the creator of Real Time Strategic Change (RTSC), the approach that brings hundreds of people together to make collaborative decisions about their organization in real time, which I described in Try Collaborative Change for a Change.
I had an opportunity to ask Jake about how change has changed since he first developed RTSC. Jesse: Jake, you wrote the first edition of your groundbreaking book Real Time Strategic Change twenty years ago. I’ve used RTSC many times over the years and am always impressed with what happens when you bring a large slice of an organization together to discuss issues and make decisions instead of putting them in an auditorium to be talked at by the . . . → Read More: An Interview with Jake Jacobs on Real Time Strategic Change
If you are tired of “trickle-down” change, consider using a collaborative change process where a large slice of your organization comes together for real conversation and to make decisions about your collective future in real-time.
This kind of high-involvement process was used by Southern New England Telephone to prepare for deregulation and the emergence of competition. It was used by Jackson Hole Ski Resort to reconsider their strategic direction. It was used when the Boston Gardens closed and they opened the new Fleet Center building. It was used by the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center when they opened under new management.
It has been used by hundreds of other organizations, where leaders understood that the attempt to hold onto power at the top of . . . → Read More: Try Collaborative Change for a Change
Often the words collaboration, coordination, and cooperation are used to describe effective teamwork. But they are not the same, and when we use these words interchangeably, we dilute their meaning and diminish the potential for creating powerful, collaborative workplaces.
Collaboration has been a big word in the news lately, most recently due to Marissa Mayer’s explanation of her decision to bring Yahoo employees back to the office: “To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side.”
Mayer’s belief that we work together better when we have real relationships, and that it is easier to build relationships when you have face-to-face contact is not unfounded. Coordination and cooperation is essential for effective and efficient . . . → Read More: Let’s Stop Confusing Cooperation and Teamwork with Collaboration
Polarization keeps us apart, disconnected. Polarization keeps us from finding creative solutions that benefit all.
There is no winning in polarization. There is only “win-lose.”
Leadership is about bringing people together, unifying around a common vision. It is about creating community.
“Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it.” ~Warren Bennis
Unifying people against a common enemy is an immoral use of power. This is what Hitler did — he led his people right over a cliff.
When we are filled with hatred and disrespect, we can only square off in opposite camps. We might negotiate agreements, but each side walks away feeling like they lost more than they gained.
. . . → Read More: Collaboration Is the Remedy for Polarization
Collaborative leaders create communities where people unite around a common purpose and values, working collaboratively to accomplish a shared vision that makes a powerful and positive impact.
Their job is to champion the vision, provide resources and remove roadblocks. How do they do this? Some of these 12 behaviors could describe any leader. But when you look at them altogether, a pattern emerges that is quite different from traditional leaders.
1. Flatten things.
They flatten the traditional hierarchical chain of command and create networks. They also flatten compensation structures so the difference in pay-scale between the top and bottom is not astronomical.
2. Allow leadership to emerge.
They let go of the need to be in control because they trust in the . . . → Read More: 12 Things Collaborative Leaders Do