One observation I made over the past years is that there seems to be a growing gravitation towards focus on individual work. This not only establishes silo mentality and makes collaborating across departments, geographies and hierarchical levels more difficult. This also stimulates individualism within teams; a blame culture is nurtured and the spirit of working together fades away. Elements that are nudging in this direction are the way we set objectives and rewards, the mandate of individual job description, the setup of functional organisational structures, etc. They often reward individual contribution over team achievements.
At the same time, there are tons of information and concepts that praise and promote the fact that we can reach ultimate success only by collaborating with others: Google research, High Performing Teams, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, etc. While we can be efficient as an individual, the great achievements and the effectiveness of an organisation only stems from the collaborative advantage we develop in groups of people.
Why do we have this controversy between individual and collaborative efforts? Maybe it is the lack of ability and tools that nurture, cultivate and nudge towards the right behaviour and mindset. Here are some ideas from my experience.
Does this sound like a lot of work? I admit, this is not a shortcut. Still, these efforts are a worthwhile investment that leads to lasting success and extraordinary results. Benefits are that we unleash creativity, we engage and motivate the people, we establish a psychological safe work environment, we retain people and we enable the company to grow beyond the current box.
What have you recently done to stimulate cross-silo collaboration in your team?
Source: re:work - The five keys to a successful Google team
Read more about Magic Pill #1 - Reflect
After a very long time, in-person workshops are back! Last week I had the opportunity to hold a guest lecture at SMU as part of the my alma mater's HSG Asia Term program here in Singapore. It was a highly interactive session with forty students from both universities. Great to feel the energy and engagement.
The students are engaged in consulting projects with local businesses and the session was focussed around how we can work together in teams and with the different stakeholders. We started off with a fun exercise that revealed that often we want our opponents to loose - instead of winning ourselves - that was really amazing.
How can we then collaborate successfully? It takes the willingness and ability to create synergy between the different players in the group. And this requires a balance between considering the wins of the other person, and the courage to express your own win. Based on these principles, the teams then started to define their own principles which captures how the team wants to work together.
The feedback we got was wonderful; here some quotes:
How do you establish relationships at work that spark high-performing teams?
Thanks to Stefan Morkoetter and his team to make this possible! More information about the HSG Asia Term in Singapore.
Together with TTIP we have launched the Innovation Forum in APAC. The first session was all about the Role of Leadership in Innovation. After an insightful presentation from Maurits van Tol, the almost 20 participants discussed in groups their experiences and insights; here are the key insights:
Listen to Maurits' presentation here!
Join us for our next interactive and insightful session on 23 February 2022 - Developing Better Technical and Business Judgment. Discuss and learn from innovation leaders in the region and bring successful change to your organisation.
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Tim is a change practitioner in the area of innovation and excellence. He is working with teams to accelerate innovation, collaboration and agility.