The Collaboration Conundrum
“Let’s work together!”
Yeah, yeah, let’s work together! Two heads are better than one, right?
Yeah, yeah, let’s work together! It’ll be faster if we combine our efforts, right?
Yeah, yeah, let’s work together! We’ll push each other to be more creative and innovative, right?
Yeah, yeah, let’s work together! It’ll be fun!
Notwithstanding the fact that your employees may not enjoy, respect or otherwise demonstrate willingness to work together and collaborate (that’ll be a separate post re: team behavior), you’ve probably got one big hurdle that needs to be overcome: location!
I bet you have a team who could benefit from each other’s expertise if they were closer to each other.
You may have a team who, when they put their minds together, encourage and inspire the best ideas and identify realistic ways to execute them but, unfortunately, they are in different zip codes and/or time zones.
Shoot, I know you have a team of employees who get quite a bit done when they work together but their increased productivity and effectiveness are mitigated by the incredible travel, time and effort expense that accompanies their work sessions.
It’s a Collaboration Conundrum!
I see it all the time!
Organizations cripple themselves by failing to bridge the geographic gap.
Team engagement and collaboration is stifled because time and location is used as an excuse not to do it.
Projects are stalled because logistical issues can’t be solved and/or easily dealt with.
Team members fail to communicate, mentor and learn from each other all because the other employee is “so far away.”
Folks, technology is, literally, at our fingertips yet we are failing to grasp it!
Leadership needs to employ and/or engage with technology experts to
a) discuss how they have chosen to collaborate in the past…what has worked well and what hasn’t; and
b) identify what technology can help them work better together now, without the need and expense of travel.
Leadership needs to step out of their offices (and mental paradigms) and ask their operational teams to share their ideas. It is likely these employees are aware of technology that could help them collaborate and/or be more efficient.
Leadership needs to bring themselves up to date. Rick doesn’t mean they need to become experts but he believes they do need to invest some personal time into learning what’s out there. The technological world has, more than likely, passed them by and they will likely be surprised that indeed, “there’s an app for that.”
And finally, Rick suggests that leaders need to allow themselves to dream. Yes, dream! (Rick uses the word imagine but I think they need a dream!)
“I have a dream…if only that was possible…”
“I have a dream…if only there was a better way…”