Want to Increase Productivity? Collaborate!

What a great time to be writing about collaboration, I thought as I watched the Winter Olympics!  I saw so many examples of successful collaborations. While there are lots of individual events in the Olympics, it appears the organizers are attempting to build in more and more team events—like the team ice dancing event and team skiing events.

One of the best examples of collaboration has to be team sports like hockey.  Even though the women’s gold medal hockey match was on TV in the middle of the night, I was glued to the action and riveted to the outcome when the U.S. women won gold.  Watching their unselfish play, it was clear they knew that to win, they each had to play their role and do it flawlessly.

Collaboration is essential to business success in our highly competitive business environment, and yes, maybe even to our survival as we are in a global economy. Most of us have learned that silos are deadly, and hoarding knowledge kills collaboration and stifles innovation.

Collaboration at work means having a clear understanding of the goal to be achieved and what role each person plays to achieve the goal. The end result of collaboration and teamwork is often the same—when people collaborate, they’re working together toward a stated goal!

However, one of the things that either makes collaboration effective is when work groups respect what each person brings to the team, and people put their own ambitions and need for personal satisfaction aside order to achieve the team goal.  This isn’t easy for many people in our business world today, but it can make your organization much more productive.

Here are some actions leaders and managers can take to encourage collaboration:

  • Set clear objectives for success
  • Identify potential obstacles to success and remove as many as possible
  • Get to know your team and have them get to know each other
  • Take responsibility for mistakes
  • Recognize and respect everyone’s contributions
  • Encourage open discussion of goals and objectives
  • Brainstorm solutions and encourage creativity
  • Build consensus on group projects
  • Listen to input from everyone
  • Compromise when necessary to move forward
  • Celebrate successes and learn from mistakes

Collaboration can have a positive impact on productivity and innovation, so encourage it whenever possible. For more information on how to maximize collaboration at work, watch for our latest book, The Manager’s Answer Book, which is available now on Amazon for pre-order and will be released in June, 2018.

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