The CEO of the Lego group understood the power of collaboration and said: “Blame is not for failure, it is for failing to help or ask for help”.
Collaboration has always been a priority for me as a General Manager or as a Management Consultant. Reflecting on my experience of working collaboratively with my teams or my clients’ teams, here is a list of 6 benefits of collaboration:
1. Strengthens individual and collective performance.
Collaboration reduces the fear of failure that can drive unhealthy behaviours such as excessive control or unnecessary protection. Working collaboratively builds up confidence as supporting one another becomes the norm. Collaboration gives people the courage to express their vulnerability, allowing them to take more initiatives and draws upon all the knowledge and expertise available.
2. Creates engagement.
According to Gallup engagement surveys, only 24% of the Australian workforce is engaged (work with passion and feel a strong connection with their company). For those of you who work collaboratively, this percentage may not reflect your reality. It is much more fulfilling and empowering to implement ideas when we have had the opportunity to contribute to the idea generation process. “ To be embraced, a change effort must be socially constructed in a process that gives everyone the right to set priorities, diagnose barriers, and generate options (…) genuine buy-in is the product of involvement.” Gary Hamel.
3. Provides opportunities to simplify the organisation.
According to Yves Morieux, when we don’t cooperate, we need more time, more equipment, more systems. For example, when we don’t want to rely on others, we can create buffers that make us more self-sufficient. Alternatively, when we do not know what the others need, we give them what we think they need. As a consultant in the Renault – Nissan group I facilitated a cross-functional team, and together we simplified the car development process and reduced the length by ten per cent.
4. Enhances innovation.
Collaboration creates an enjoyable, friendly atmosphere as you get to know each other. In such an environment, where people support each other, it is natural to be open and creative. It creates a fertile ground for innovation and improvements.
5. Increases the ability to solve complex problems.
The issues that companies have to deal with are becoming increasingly complex. Most of them cannot be tackled effectively without a free flow of information within the company. It is only through such a sharing of knowledge, skill sets and perspectives that a team can deal with these challenging issues. The best solutions, not just the first ones to come to mind, will be implemented.
6. Improves mental health.
Being surrounded by people doesn’t mean that we are connected. We can feel lonely in the workplace if we lack social connections. Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: research shows that it is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Holt-Lunstad, 2015). Collaboration increases social connections and helps provide a sense of belonging. It can also bring comfort when you realise that you are not the only one who encounters setbacks.
Effective collaboration within the workplace is a cornerstone for successful and sustainable business outcomes. It has the power to unleash untapped potential.
Do you have in mind other benefits of collaboration? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to find ways to increase collaboration within your organisation, or if you would like more information about Footprint Consulting’s suite of workshop products, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Catherine Jacob, Founder of Footprint Consulting, is an international management consultant. Over the last twenty years, she has worked across a wide range of industries, awarding her a broad and multi-faceted understanding of the business world.
In addition to her management consulting expertise, Catherine has achieved success in both business start-up and general management roles.
A unique combination of advanced facilitation skills, consulting capabilities and operational experience allows Catherine to recognise business issues and implement practical solutions.