energizing breakthrough performance

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Author: ; Published: Nov 29, 2012; Category: Collaboration, Cross-Functional Teams, Matrix Management, Uncategorized; Tags: None; No Comments»

Yes, with a nod to the late Rodney King. While Mr. King was referring to life on the streets, we will reframe his question relative to life in today’s complex organizations: How can we optimize collaboration among our company’s employees?

To be sure, extreme examples exist whereby one or more toxic relationships dim the prospects for productive collaboration towards zero.  The good news is that there are relatively few such examples hunkered down at the tail of the bell curve. More commonly, it’s just that people get in one another’s way, most often unintentionally, such that the whole ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Then, Pandora’s Box may open with the most neurotic relationships exerting disproportionate negative influence on everyone’s performance and daily sense of progress, akin to bad money driving out good money.  In the most egregious cases, the best people and practices become subservient to the least common denominator. That’s wrong, upside down, and out of balance. It’s also dangerous.

Look at it this way: When it comes to productive collaboration, there’s a continuum with alienation at one end and productive synergy at the other. The never-ending challenge is to move the organization from wherever it is on the continuum towards the productive synergy end, lest it spiral backwards. Things are either getting better or they are getting worse. Getting to productive synergy is the goal of Strategic Futures’ Optimize Collaboration!

“Getting along” at the speed of business in a high-performance enterprise is today’s high bar and “getting along” certainly does not mean just “getting by.” It enables the talent to collaborate with one another productively, and we hope, creatively. Getting along  today also means that when there are occasional fights – and there will be – they should be the right fights, fought well and intelligently. Constructive tension is a good thing.  Destructive tension is not.

What does productive collaboration require? Three key building blocks you need for fostering crackling synergy among employees are:

  • Expanded Trust
  • Improved Human Relations Hygiene
  • Clarified Mutual Support Agreements

These building blocks take on different proportions in a world which often consists of fewer face-to-face employee encounters, replaced by more computer-mediated interactions. These challenges are factored into our design. Optimize Collaboration!  is a hands-on working session delivered at your site. We customize the session to your organization’s needs and aspirations. If you think it might be time for a tune-up, please email info@strategicfutures.com or telephone 703.836.8383 for additional information. You may also e-mail us for a free copy of our Dimensions of Trust Self-Assessment Questionnaire.

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