What does collaboration mean to you? How regularly do you collaborate? If these seem like challenging questions to ponder, you’re definitely not alone. If collaborating was easy it’s safe to say we’d see more of it.
Now the critical question: Why is collaboration infrequently implemented? Well one reason is that it requires communication and that’s not so easy to conquer. Here are some questions to consider:
1. How effectively do you (or your company) communicate project expectations? The more well-defined expectations are the more readily collaboration can succeed.
2. How often do you (or your company) establish measureable goals for your team? Goals can certainly change but they must be articulated in a manner that makes sense and can be readily tracked, in order for collaboration to add value.
3. How well do you (or your company) foster a creative culture? In order to have collaboration flourish, all ideas and input must be welcome so team members feel they truly have a voice.
4. To what extent do the members of your team know each other? So often, staff are dispersed and work in different locations and even different time zones. When collaboration is implemented it’s imperative that your staff take time to get familiar with each other’s strengths, preferences, and perspectives.
5. How readily is information accessible to those who are collaborating? Between interactive white boards, video conferencing and cloud computing, we can easily share ideas and resources with one another and avoid feeling isolated.
Collaboration can and should occur frequently as long as it’s closely connected with solid communication. When that happens the workplace has unlimited potential for success.
**Some of the ideas in this post emanated from the expertise of Andrew Field, J. Edward Casteele. and Dan Schawbel