Culture & Competency

Being Collaborative at Work Requires New Skills – Deb

Writing for CMSWire, Deb argues that enterprise collaboration requires critical new skills:

The way we currently think of working was formed by a command and control, industrial age of process, manufacturing and efficiencies of scale. Collaboration is a different model. It depends on people, not process. It depends on outstanding communication — because collaboration requires thinking and acting together. We are in an age where we have created technology that makes this easier, but we are still evolving our understanding of how best to do it. With this new way of work, comes a new set of critical skills.

The skills are, in her view:
– The ability to handle constant change – where the difference between learning and acting is non-existent.
– Individuals need to be curious, along with humility.
– An ability to thrive in small teams – to listen to learn, and to contribute to improve.
– Respect for the ideas and values of others.
– A focus on goals and opportunities.
– Commitment, not accountability.
– The ability to accept and be okay with bad news and mistakes.
– The ability to ask questions in an authentic way.

My Comments
1. This is great article by Deb, and spot on in terms of focus. The effective use of the tools requires the effective disciplines and skills of collaboration.

2. Deb’s conclusions align very nicely with my “Practice” element of collaboration. I say, “In order for people to work with other people, there needs to be a fundamental set of collaborative practices at play. Practices such as respect for the individual and their viewpoint, awareness of the strengths that each person brings to the joint activity, commitment to work through issues to completion, and trust that each person is working towards the best outcome for the whole team … are core and fundamental to effective collaboration. There are others too – this is just the start of the list.

3. I think we all need to get better with these skills, along with our understanding of what they mean within organizational life. This is the real challenge facing all of us.

Categories: Culture & Competency