Listen, before we go too fast here…
We keep shouting about collaboration from the highest levels of leadership but we might want to stop and take the time to do two important things that might help us collaborate more effectively:
1. Define what a collaborative culture is – Sounds like a no-brainer, but what does collaboration even mean? Every company does it a bit differently, every situation might require it a bit differently, so before we can build a collaborative culture, people have to have a clear understanding of what that entails at YOUR company and in THIS type of scenario.
Is it knowledge sharing, running ideas past a larger team, vying for consensus? Is it only when we are working on group projects and we need a brainstorming session? What are the norms and guidelines for when we do and don’t collaborate? When we all agree on what is expected, we are more likely to collaborate effectively.
2. Start with the behavior then the tool – All too often, people come up with a magic bullet for collaboration and it often involves technology such as Slack, HipChat, Sharepoint, etc.. And while those tools are great and can take collaboration to the next level, how often has your organization rolled out a new tool only to have one or two people sharing information between the crickets chirping?
Before we jump to tools, lets focus on behavior.
Get analog collaboration happening first so that you have a much better chance of succeeding in the digital space.