It has been several years now that I have been interested in pulling apart the Crisis, Complexity and Confusion (C3) we increasingly find ourselves living in. About the best I have come up with in doing so is to engage in Communication, Collaboration, and Creative thinking (3Cs).
I see much of the C3 in the world around us and I am sure many see this at work. The Communication piece of the 3Cs really should not be difficult, if you are indeed a Greater Good Leader or at best a Servant Leader. Taking care your team requires shared two way communication, but I am constantly amazed at how we lack clear and effective communication streams. I know I am guilty of less than stellar communication flow so I routinely try to default to over-communication. If the team gets too much data, so be it…but I have yet to hear someone say…wow, that is just too much information and now I can not perform my job.
Today I am really pondering collaboration as I don’t have a clear mantra on it. Sure I can tell folks we should over-communicate, but what do we say about collaboration? Part of the issue I believe….is we can not even begin to collaborate until we have excellent communication, so perhaps I have yet to get there in my life first.
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.
Collaboration is probably the most needed quality among a team amidst the pressures of crisis, complexity and confusion–but how do we get our teams to collaborate? My plan is to focus on four areas.
1) Perception: The leader must view his/her team as collaborators, NOT competitors and that in turn must permeate the very identity of the team.
2) Attitude: We have to be supportive not suspicious of the people we work with and as leaders we must model this for our folks. Too many times we have all witnessed people that assume there must be an ulterior motive to people wanting to work together…not a healthy place for a team to be.
3) Focus: The concentration MUST be on the team, NOT the individual. How many times do we hear leaders say MY secretary, MY assistant, MY people, MY, MY, MY…. isn’t it really ours? The MY, ME, MINE attitude must be ruthlessly attacked and destroyed.
4) Results: Great victories may seem rare…but they truly occur through multiplication–collaboration has a multiplying effect on everything your organization does, it gives true ownership to the entire team…and incredible pride when the team can say… WE did that! Collaboration harnesses and releases not only the individual skills of your folks, but of everyone on the team.
Just a few thoughts for a Wednesday… anything to add or subtract? Does the above make sense?
The four principles above are adapted from John Maxwell’s book “The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player.” A must read for any leader…