We all know this! Yet, technology & tools take up a huge bit of attention, perhaps because of cash investments in the infrastructure, challenges of technology adoption within the organization, and the reliability, stability, usability, scalability and obsolescence of technology. No doubt, technology is a critical enabler that is opening new frontiers for collaboration. Return on investment in collaborative infrastructure is however generated by people. Discussions on collaboration tend to lack a focus on how to make people want to harness this potential. In many instances, material on engaging people is an old retread of good old team management, which totally misses the implications of the new frontier and challenges of leadership, organizational culture and talent management.
We are delighted to point to an original research paper on collaboration in large teams: Eight Ways to Build Collaborative Teams by Lynda Gratton and Tamara J Erickson published in the Harvard Business Review. Research into team behavior at 15 multinational companies discovered that teams that are large, virtual, diverse and made up of highly educated specialists are increasingly crucial. Yet, those same four characteristics make it hard for teams to get anything done. Findings of the paper are summarized in Eight ways to build a great team (collaboration in large work teams). Eight factors that lead to success are: 1. Investing in signature relationship practices, 2. Modeling collaborative behavior, 3. Creating a “gift culture,” 4. Ensuring the requisite skills, 5. Supporting a strong sense of community, 6. Assigning team leaders that are both task and relationship-oriented, 7. Building on heritage relationships, and 8. Understanding role clarity and task ambiguity. In a similar summary article, Eight Ways to Build Collaborative Teams, the same key ideas are categorized by: What Executives Can Do, What HR Can Do, and What Team Leaders Can Do.
In an earlier post, we offered our views on organizational challenges.
See Related Posts:
- Enthusiasts to Laggards
- The ALL ONE (TAO) of Collaboration
- "Collaborative" as Key Job Skill
- The Four Ps of Effective Collaboration
- The 4Ps of Effective Collaboration - Redux
- Collaboration = Cooperative Behavior + Assertive Behavior
- Measuring Collaboration Behavior
- If You Can’t Pass the Ball, You Can’t play!
- Mind the “Collaboration Trap”
- What We Can Do to Improve Collaboration
- Effective Collaboration Is More than Deliverables
- Do you hear me now: Leaders, Collaborators and Tool Makers