Collaboration is one of the areas I am passionate about. To me, collaboration is where a team of people come together, to achieve a quality outcome, that would otherwise have been very difficult if not impossible to reproduce individually. Each person in the team contributes his skills, experiences and viewpoints and while doing that learns from his teammates.
In many instances I have heard some opinions that believe that collaboration tends to be a trait/behavior which people either have and exhibit or not. In their opinion there is not much a company can do to drive more collaboration. I whole heartedly disagree with those views. Of course there are some employees that will collaborate no matter what, and there are some that will not regardless. But there is a vast majority in the middle that needs a catalyst(s) to collaborate. This catalyst can be one of many elements such as technology, objectives/incentives, others taking the lead in igniting collaboration etc. To ensure higher level of employee engagement, job satisfaction and subsequently higher quality results, companies need to carefully evaluate the catalyst that they can nurture as well as some of the barriers (physical, political etc.) that they can help diminish or remove. This is an ongoing effort, that requires to be constantly re-evaluated and enhanced to ensure the required income. That being said the outcomes are beyond worth it.
In future posts, I will discuss some of these catalysts in more details as well as how can they be used effectively in the corporate world.