Collaboration Improvement Strategies


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Silo busting becomes necessary to bring in a sea change within organizations. A quick preview of 17 strategies borrowed from Boom!

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Collaboration Improvement Strategies

  1. 1. 17 Collaboration Improvement Strategies Borrowed Wisdom BOOM! - Blowing the Doors off Business-as-Usual
  2. 2. 1. Understand why tribes (silos) exist? • Tribes are a tool for self-preservation • Tribes provide identity • Tribes create emotional ties in a world where people have a deep need for belonging • Tribes are anchors, places people can call home—they provide safety and security • Tribal pride usually causes members to think their ideas and practices are superior • People are typically motivated by self-interest first, then allegiance to the tribe and finally loyalty to the common good of the larger organization or community Help to Seek, and Seek Help!
  3. 3. 2. Do your homework, become a “tribal” expert. To break down the walls of tribalism you have to understand the tribe. Don’t automatically assume you know them just because they are part of the same
  4. 4. 3. Never Burn a Bridge The person, department or functional area you criticize today may be the ally you need tomorrow. Even if you are grinding gears with another part of the organization, never diminish, disparage or dehumanize people from another tribe. Remember the REAL OPPONENT is out there, not in here.
  5. 5. 4. In the face of drama, take a step back. It’s easy for these folks to stir the pot with “petty preoccupations.” When drama erupts and the “pot stirrers” in your tribe start pointing fingers at members of another tribe—don’t get sucked in. As the old cliché goes, “There are two sides to every story.”
  6. 6. 5. Get to “YES” fast. Focus on what’s working between tribes. People gravitate toward winners. When you focus on how you have successfully worked with another tribe in the past you start with a common ”YES,” a common reason for working together again.
  7. 7. 6. Create small wins Small wins have a way of breaking down barriers and busting silo walls. Small wins create momentum. It feels good to win and if winning requires the participation of two tribes that have been “warring” with each other, both tribes now have a reason to work collaboratively
  8. 8. 7. Promote meetings between department heads. Something positive happens when people meet together face-to-face. Thinking and brainstorming together, problem solving together, celebrating together, and assuming collective responsibility for the organization’s success is a powerful catalyst for building trust and making collaboration a way of life.
  9. 9. 8. Encourage people to socialize outside of work. Socializing with co-workers outside the office can open communication channels, create better understanding and break down the walls of mistrust—all of which contribute to lowering our stress.
  10. 10. 9. Recognize, reward and celebrate collaborative behavior. • Stories of great collaboration breaks down the walls of tribalism and honor collective accomplishments. • Attaching performance metrics and bonuses to collaborative efforts sends a very strong message to everyone about what values are driving the business.
  11. 11. 10. Create a clear, compelling and urgent cause. • Make your cause exciting, build a solid business case for what you’re trying to do and inspire them to care as much as you do. • People find all kinds of reasons not to work together when they are unclear about or indifferent to the cause.
  12. 12. 11. Make innovation a preeminent focus. When the bar for innovation is set extremely high and creative breakthroughs are an expected part of the culture, people have no choice but to start silo-busting.
  13. 13. 12. Brand everyone as a junction box for knowledge. Accelerating the flow of knowledge in a company is the result of players who build a network of cross-functional relationships within the organization, throughout the industry and around the globe
  14. 14. 13. Think systemically. • It’s easy to objectify and oversimplify other people’s jobs. • Or maybe we don’t oversimplify their job, maybe we are just going 90 mph with hair on fire and our focus is myopic. • In either case, systemic thinking can shatter the walls of tribalism because it forces us to look at things from their perspective and see the organization as a whole.
  15. 15. 14. Walk a mile. 1. Create opportunities for people from different parts of the organization to work together. 2. Establish a rotation system where employees can work in another area to develop empathy and gain a big picture perspective. 3. Invite people from other departments into your team meetings for an outsider/insider point of view.
  16. 16. 15. Ask the tough questions. 1. What are the top 10 things we do to make it difficult for you to do your jobs? 2. If you were running our department or business unit what would you do differently? 3. How can we make the “handoff” to you more seamless? 4. If we were easy to do business with what would that look like?
  17. 17. 16. Let the customer weigh in. Most customers are more aware of tribalism than you think, because they experience the consequences of it!! If you really want to get people’s attention, invite several customers into your organization to talk about where the ball gets dropped, how this impacts them and how they feel about it.
  18. 18. 17. Honor requests – keep your •Most requests and promises are held sacred promises. within the tribe, but considered optional between tribes. •Taking a request from another tribe seriously and doing what you say you are going to do goes a long way toward building trust and blurring boundaries. Can I count on you? Will you be there when I need you? Do you care about this as much as we do?
  19. 19. Remember – it’s a Start Small, but cover the distance!
  20. 20. Don’t stop midway! Go for It!
  21. 21. Be a Dreamer Doer in the Crowd!
  22. 22. b ar eb mh