Harness the Power of Collaboration in Business

As companies evolve and people change, collaboration is the glue that holds everything together — especially when you need to figure out who’s doing what in your organization or create something new as a team. This becomes a synergy process that involves respecting differences, building on strengths, and compensating for weaknesses.

Do you spend time coordinating or collaborating with your team(s)?

Are you pouring so much energy into ensuring the team(s) gets stuff done that you can’t find the time to figure out how to do the work better?

Your ability as a High Growth Leader is to co-create a collaborative environment.  This is key for the team’s long-term growth, engagement, and profitability.

Collaboration requires coordination

First, we asked ourselves what the difference between coordination and collaboration is.

Some leaders think that we should collaborate by working together and then coordinating to come up with a plan, making coordination the more tactical element. Other leaders say that you should coordinate both before and after collaboration.

Whichever way you look at it, collaboration requires coordination, so we need a good understanding of the necessary elements to collaborate better. Some relevant coordination skills include managing schedules, timing, availability, logistics, and personalities.

Finding the right balance between collaboration and coordination can be challenging. We need to coordinate before collaborating, yet we sometimes need to collaborate to figure things out in the first place.

Coordination can feel reactive, while collaboration feels more proactive, but that doesn’t mean we can rely on collaboration alone.  Most leaders use a mix of the two, and that’s probably a good thing. In the past, management theory said that we should specialize in one or the other, but today’s High Growth Leaders need to be able to do either and take a more adaptive approach, depending on their situation.

Collaboration is the avenue to more impact.

We’re talking about direct links to collaboration because we need to ensure we can collaborate successfully on a shared purpose in our first team before we move into a more comprehensive organization with other departments and units.

For this to happen, collaboration needs to be effective.

Done right, collaboration should help team members develop their talent and be directly involved in the decision-making process, which will increase their engagement and motivation to perform.

Collaboration involves three key aspects: defining what to do, taking action, and creating. Each process requires different skills, and a High Growth Leader should be able to direct their team(s) to collaborate effectively and make a difference.

What you can do

There are plenty of resources about how leaders can improve their coordination skills, such as management books and even courses on LinkedIn Learning. Yet when it comes to collaboration, as much as people talk about wanting to improve it, they’re primarily unsure about what steps they can take to achieve that.

One thing you can do is try out different tools and strategies. This is particularly important if you have people in your team who tend to stay quiet in group discussions. They might benefit from giving everyone a silent reflection first.

What it means to you

As a leader, you’re often taught to exhibit certain behaviors, such as taking control and speaking up; however, if you can take a step back and focus on listening, it lends itself to collaboration and working together.

For collaboration to be possible, you must establish trust — you can’t expect to jump straight into it. Leaders can also take responsibility for being vulnerable about being uncomfortable or not knowing the answers, which helps others relax.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top