Profitable collaboration outcomes continue to be elusive to organizations and associations. Often, there is an either-or choice to be made. You create a profitable outcome, which is not quite as robust and nimble as intended. Or, you achieve positive internal customer experiences which leave everyone feeling good, but not quite as profitably collaborative as intended.
Regardless of the size of your organization or association, leveraging collaboration profitably and experientially not only is a balancing act. Also, achieving this balance is a leadership skill which includes all internal stakeholders. Not just the folks with the big fancy titles and paychecks.
Deconstructing profitable collaboration outcomes is a non-linear activity.
This concept is messy and makes stakeholders uncomfortable. After all, who doesn’t want to receive an orderly, step-wise To-Do list compiled by “someone else”? Then, progress through it, joyfully checking off various tasks as “completed”?
Well, actually, there are a lot of folks in your workforce who do not view the world in a linear, step-by-step manner. In addition, there are a lot of folks in the workforce who, currently, have not given themselves permission to develop their voices and critical thinking skills to make collaborative project contributions.
As a result, profitable collaboration is not as diverse and inclusive as it could be. And should be.
Which stakeholders are you currently marginalizing from creating profitable collaborative outcomes? The type of balanced outcomes required to grow, expand and – most importantly – sustain your business and association?
In my work with multi-functional teams, profitable collaboration outcomes result from internal stakeholder experiences focused on courageously making hard calls.
Collaboration, itself, is a misunderstood term. Most commonly, leaders and managers and employees perceive that they are already collaborating. First, stakeholders pay lip service to the concept of “teams” which, in essence, is synonymous with everyone working for the same company. Period. Second, because when stakeholders show up for a virtual or live meeting, they equate attendance with “collaborating.” When, in fact, all they are doing is “attending.”
Realistically, profitable collaboration is the result of employees committed to listening with an open mind to the voices of others. In addition, positive internal customer experiences are the outcomes of both courage and critical thinking skills in the face of push-back in risk-averse cultures. Ultimately, enduring and profitable customer-focused outcomes are the result of everyone getting to the finish line.
Together. Because they have each other’s backs. Achieving that rare balance, together. Rejecting legacy biases, beliefs and behaviors that would keep them at each other’s throats.
As I say it: “Depending on where we all sit around the table, we ‘see’ the same things, differently. Shouldn’t our differences become strengths and opportunities – instead of impediments – for serving our customers (and each other) better and better?”
Your thoughts? Hit this link and let me know what you think.
Babette Ten Haken is a customer retention specialist. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs and workshops improve communication in organizations with disparate or siloed groups, especially in industries with technically-focused stakeholders. Her playbook of communication hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Babette’s speaker profile is on the espeakers platform.
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