Collaboration Matters…

Posted on: April 24th, 2013 by Clear Thinking Team No Comments

… because sometimes we need to bring people together to accomplish the things that are not possible when we work alone

We build individual collaboration skills so that no matter where you are and who you are with, when you’re part of any collaborative activity, you can contribute purposefully and competently.

It might seem a little odd to work with individual skills when we’re talking about something that we do with others, but we believe that great collaboration starts with the individual and how they ‘show up’. There are some other conditions that have to be in place too. This doodle probably says it better than a whole bunch of words!

individual behaviour for collaboration

Behaviour: We’ve examined our own experiences of collaborating, reflected on the work we’ve done with teams over the past 15 years, analysed the tools we use in our work with teams and managers in organisations, explored some of the many theories and research on the subject. We’ve settled on a set of collaborative behaviours that we believe matter most. It’s not an exhaustive list, but we’ve found them to be key in exploring people’s ability to fully contribute to a team setting. We’ve turned them into a card deck which will tell you more about in another post.

Conditions: When a group of people are brought together to collaborate, they need the right conditions to thrive in. This might be the right physical space, the perfect amount of time, a clear goal, the right kind of governance. It’s subtly different for each group and exploring this in order to pin down the specifics for each team or group is important.

Reality: The third aspect we give our attention to, is what’s really happening in the organisation. The group has to understand the context it’s operating within and how they fit in. Exploring the bigger picture brings perspective and meaning.

When we bring these three parts together every individual can see how they need to ‘show up’ to collaborate well, what the conditions are that need to be in place for them to perform well and how what they do fulfills a need for the organisation.

If reading this has made you curious about your own approach to collaboration, you can follow our Collaborate Live Series of video interviews and see what others are saying about collaborative working.

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