Vannoy & Ross

There’s a 92% chance your organization lists “collaboration” as a cherished organizational value. (Okay, we don’t know if it is exactly a 92% chance. But come on: What organization wouldn’t value true collaboration as a method to accelerate results?)

Working together effectively, where trust is high and the sum of the effort is greater than any single person could possibly muster, is a winning strategy.

Yet, what happens if your managers hold a faulty definition of collaboration? If so, it’s bye-bye results.

What does collaboration really look like? For starters, as my friend Dr. Doug Reeves (www.leadandlearn.com) emphasizes, collaboration doesn’t mean consensus. Somewhere someone started the idea that we all needed to agree with each other by the time the last second ticked from the meeting. (That’s crazy. No wonder many companies are drowning in never-ending meetings.)

Collaboration means we can speak up and contribute. And in successful organizations, it means that a decision is made in a timely manner. Then in the end, regardless if we all agree or not, the team is “all-in” in its support and execution.

Secondly, nowhere is there a rulebook that says collaboration needs to be nice and tidy like grandma’s powder room. The best collaboration includes the ability to “tell the brutal truth,” as J. Collins says in Good to Great. And in such meetings, the most effective teams know when collaboration becomes corrosion: They know the difference between telling the brutal truth…and telling the truth brutally.

Craziness and corrosion are not cited as organizational values. Lead true collaboration.



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