Introducing collaborative culture within your organization requires effort but its perks are countless. Robert Donaldson, the acclaimed leadership expert and the author of the book ‘Collaborative Power Grab,’ discusses the key benefits of creating a collaborative culture within an organization.
A collaborative culture is all about involving your team and sharing knowledge to achieve organizational goals. The idea behind this is to make your team understand that they are better together.
It’s possible to grow individually and as a team by collaborating with each other. But the benefits of creating a collaborative culture in workplaces are far more valuable for companies, especially for startups. They can swiftly expand their business and thrive in any environment thanks to their cooperative nature.
The renowned leadership expert Robert Donaldson has shared some key advantages of creating a collaborative culture in workplaces. If incorporated correctly, collaborative culture can help organizations with the following benefits.
Significantly Reduces the Amount of Direct Supervision
Ask your middle managers how much time they spend on direct supervision to make sure that their team is producing the outcomes that senior management is asking of them. Ask them how many problems are showing up on their desk that probably wouldn’t show up on their desk if they had a better performing team below them. Ask them what their calendar looks like with the significant amount of direct supervision they’re having to perform that is also competing with the other tasks they are needing to complete.
The biggest reason for stressed out middle managers is the time it takes to make sure the underperforming team below them is producing the right outcomes, and because direct supervision is consuming their calendar along with all the other tasks expected of them by their boss, it makes for long days and weekend work that starts to negatively impact their family life.
Distributes Power But Only to Those Who Earn It
Everybody wants power in a group and in a group that’s not collaborative the power usually ends up in the lap of the wrong people. Let me explain. Because the power-hungry for power’s sake, usually only serves personal agendas, the power ends up with the wrong people, not benefiting the group, just benefiting that individual.
In highly collaborative groups personal agendas are significantly marginalized not allowing power to transfer to personal agendas. In a collaborative group it’s just the opposite. In a collaborative group the collaborative power brokers rise to the top distributing good things along their way to the top, to everybody in the group which includes technical and collaborative and emotional support by reducing fear with advancing inclusion, sharing control and enhancing transparency. These collaborative power brokers are usually very favored individuals in the group. Why?
They place a special emphasis on empowering the people in their group to become the decision-making experts they want to be, they prioritize the group’s mission over their own and they prioritize solving their boss’s problems first ahead of the other problems present. It doesn’t take very long before everybody realizes this is the person you want to hand power to.
Creates an Exceptional Problem-Solving Machine
Problem-solving is an acquired skill and most people think more highly of their problem-solving skill than they probably should. History is littered with very intelligent people making tragic, horrible decisions, not enough time to go onto those stories right now.
I’ve heard many leader-managers complain about the problems that show up on their desks that they think shouldn’t be there. When I ask them: “How is your problem-solving training program is going?” they just look at me with blank stares. Yes, they have a problem with problem solving and didn’t think to have a training program to solve the lack of problem solving with a training solution. There are a handful of reasons problems do not get solved in a group and everybody in the group can be trained on how to avoid those reasons. There is more than one systematic method for reliably solving problems that can be learned by almost anybody at any skill level.
In collaborative groups problem-solving happens at the lowest level because everyone’s trained to expert levels which includes how to stop avoiding problems and how to use a systematic step-by-step problem-solving process. OK? Problem solved.
Everyone Becomes Part of Something Larger Than Themselves
This is a primal driving force that is operating in every human brain because we were taught for the last hundred thousand years that we can’t go it alone. Despite the popular cultural meme depicting the heroic “rugged individual” the reason humans covered the planet in less than 55,000 years is because of their ability to collaborate with each other.
It’s been proposed that the typical human family experience 50,000 years ago did not have the capacity to generate enough calories on a daily basis to survive very long. And that it was only through human collaboration with large animal hunting (which requires multiple humans collaborating) and food sharing amongst non-kin tribe members (which also requires multiple humans collaborating) is the primary reason humans were and are extraordinarily successful.
When more than one human in a group is working towards the same objective it triggers the same hardwired co-evolutionary gene expression for our tendency to collaborate with other humans. I’m not making this up, this is being said by people that are a lot smarter than I am about this stuff. When we collaborate with other humans, we feel there’s safety in numbers and we know that achieving that objective, regardless of what it is, has a much higher likelihood of being achieved than had we just been trying to do it on our own.
When collaborating with your fellow humans means safety or means improving your life condition or improving your workplace: becoming part of something larger than ourselves is one of the most important emotions we humans are wanting to engage with. So as a result, when the collaborative workplace is effective at promoting this deeply held human tendency, individual dedication to mission success is met with extreme loyalty on the part of each group member.
From which the group not only survives, but now thrives.
Attracts and Keeps Your Best Talent
Even though the work culture is now receiving it’s due attention, it’s always been important for everybody that has a choice. Yes, the post-pandemic work world has placed a higher premium on pay, a higher premium on remote work and a higher premium on workplace culture. Therefore, “extra, extra read all about it”: people are just not going put up with a jerk-boss anymore. People have choice and they’re going use that choice in order to find themselves in a workplace that promotes inclusion, shares control and advances transparency. A workplace that actively reduces fear and promotes rational, logical and ethical behaviors.
So it’s important for me to point out to you: if you’re a group that’s not getting rid of the bullies on your leader-manager staff then all of your best talent is not only leaving and not coming back, they are going to go work for your competition. How’s that sound to you?
Company Name: Collaborative Strategies Consulting Inc.
Contact Person: Robert M Donaldson
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