…just not each other’s way.
Crazy, or counter to what you know about your organization though this may seem, it’s actually true.
Despite situations where divisiveness appears rampant, or at least well practiced, there are always some forms of collaboration taking place … a lot more than is understood.
After all, people turn up every day to their job, attend meetings, launch new projects, achieve some of their goals, etc. They may even work to the same plan or set of assumptions about what’s required to be successful.
Even the deeply non-collaborative folks are doing something to preserve momentum.
The issue is, where it happening? And, how do we make something of the collaboration once we notice it?
How do we remove the barriers preventing more collaboration?
Remember, most of the divisiveness among people that appears to prevent collaboration is largely a construct and it’s between the people.
Yes, the people are usually not the problem, but what’s between them.
Ask the following questions. In each case, extract an exhaustive list of the answers.
Where are we already collaborating?
When is the divisiveness not a problem?
What are the purposeful outcomes when the collaboration occurs?
How might we do more of that?
What would be the first steps to making progress?
Should we actually conduct such an audit? Initially, a lot!! But, with the intention that it become a mindset among the people – from developing strategy, to delivering projects, to deciding on how to better serve the customer.
True collaboration is a skill that takes practice. Sometimes there are systemic reasons why collaboration is elusive. Despite that, have people notice and amplify when they are collaborating.
Note: I believe the author of the ‘Everyone’s trying to collaborate’ headline for this blog is Jim Duval. If not, Jim you get credit for evangelizing it.