If you want to successfully sabotage collaboration, then I have 4 hacks to accomplish your goal.
These hacks work every time. regardless of the size of your organization. The hacks include:
- Working in a Vacuum
- Limiting Your Perspective
- Ignoring faulty processes
- Failing to successfully work with Them
On the other hand, is your goal achieving extraordinary and enduring client outcomes? Then, pay far more attention to the context and quality of how team collaboration impacts process and system output. Let’s explore.
Working in a Vacuum Syndrome successfully sabotages Collaboration – Hack 1
You think you work alone, perhaps because you work virtually. From your perspective, the processes you follow to accomplish the tasks you are responsible for, seem standalone. Once you complete those processes and hand off your work, you are done, out of the loop. In your mind, you do not work collaboratively, at all. Or do you?
My advice: Identify everyone who receives your output. In which departments do they reside? What are their job functions? You have more in common than you think.
Limiting Your Worldview successfully sabotages Collaboration – Hack 2
Alternatively, your work-related universe consists only of the people you see every day, in the workplace.
In reality, today’s extraordinarily connected digital work environments connect manufacturing, business and quality management systems to each other. Each of these areas has a myriad of processes involved in executing strategy. As a result, following processes is a team sport, not one person working in a vacuum.
My advice: fully understand the context of each process you touch. Where does your output go? You will find that you have an entire network of colleagues whose throughput and output depends on the quality your own output, as well as your team’s. Reach out to them. Expand your network of resources.
Ignoring Faulty Processes successfully sabotages Collaboration – Hack 3
Then again, everyone successfully collaborates in crisis mode every day. Except, your collaborative actions are focused on putting out process fires.
However, the adrenaline rush of this scenario creates bad workplace habits: the expectation that every day brings new excitement. Over time, ignoring faulty (or non-existent) preventative processes perpetuates the poor throughput and output which continues to fuel employee needs for another adrenaline rush.
My advice: This scenario is a red flag that not only is your business model in desperate need of documented processes. Collaborate towards the shared goal of creating productive and profitable integrated processes. Share the success of how these processes help your teams continuously meet client needs.
Us versus Them Mindset successfully sabotages Collaboration – Hack 4
You have colleagues you cannot stand working with, let alone trying to collaborate. So, you marginalize them from your workplace life. Except what happens when What They Know is critical to What You Do? This scenario is alive and well in every organization.
You work with great people and create a load of documented, interrelated processes. Except, when it comes to working with Them. And “They” can represent people from other professional disciplines, who were not trained to solve problems the way you do. Or, they have different priorities than you. Every time you get together at meetings, the quality of output is less-than. Because you are like oil and water.
My advice: The goal is to create extraordinary and enduring client outcomes, that impact customer success for customer retention. Perpetuating Us versus Them mindset limits collaboration. And no matter how brilliant everyone is, you collectively end up shortchanging yourselves when it comes to game-changing innovation and business development. Isn’t it time to cross that collaboration abyss?
Did you recognize your own workplace in any of these hacks? Do you have some additional scenarios to add? Contact me and let’s compare notes!
Take the next steps towards collaboration success.
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ serves organizations as a corporate catalyst and innovative speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention, especially in challenging Industrial Internet of Things environments. Babette’s playbook of IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Image source: iStock