While working with a team last week, I was struck by the real need for ‘deliberate’ collaboration!
Collaboration is a skill that team members need to learn. At times we just expect to pull people into a team… and give them a mandate and ‘tell them to get on with it’.
The back story for this team, is that a very old, and well established manufacturing business decided to ‘try their hand at eCommerce’. They pulled a few people out of various marketing / sales teams, ‘threw them together’, and told them to make eCommerce work, as a new distribution channel !
For some people, this would be a ‘yummy’ challenge. In this group (not yet a team), this was not the case. There was ‘in -fighting’, ‘bullying’ and ‘destructive competitiveness’. I was brought in to mediate and sort out the ‘conflict’.
Here's a 70 000 ft look at the four- step Journey for Team Collaboration… and hence developing a cohesive Team culture.
Enneagram Assessment - to ascertain each person’s temperament and specific personality strengths. This provides a solid foundation for understanding the vastly different strengths in the team (using the 9 different personalities in the Enneagram System).
As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Understanding the Enneagram Types of each Team Member, the Team Leader, as well as the Team Leader’s (who was driving the eCommerce mandate of this team).
“Collaboration – the ultimate intertwining of skills, passions, and knowledge – is what concocts the most shatterproof forms of changemaking.” - Ian Somerhalder.
To participatively come up with team negotiables, non-negotiables, and mobilising Team Values.
This Team came up with
Team Value #1 : We have a strong work ethic.
Team Value #2 : We are clear, honest and kind.
‘The way forward’... so that ‘collaboration’ is baked into processes of how the team members do their work every day, and into the attitudes they take about that work.
Collaboration requires a mindset change! Upfront discussions need to take place about reframing conflict, paving the way for daily ‘courageous conversations’. This is really difficult when team members are only together two days/week, and working remotely for the rest of the week.
Trust, transparency and collaboration needs to be embedded in every conversation and engagement.
Collaboration requires cooperative spirit and mutual respect - which lies at the very heart of team and company culture.
Here is a short and useful article on the same topic: MITSloan Business School articleThe recent research on ‘collaboration’ is eye-opening.
If you’re in a team / leading a team … perhaps you could ask:
HOW, and IN WHAT way can we be more deliberate in the ways in which we COLLABORATE?
#collaboration #teamvalues #teamperformance #loveyourwork #selfcare #bounceforward