By Carlos Pardo, CEO of Meta4
Society’s hyper-connectivity has permeated to the business environment, transforming the traditional organizational models and cooking up new ways of understanding businesses. Work environments where employees work in isolation are increasingly questioned, as shown by many studies such as the one recently done by Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends 2016 where organization design is one of the key concerns for the entrepreneurs surveyed.
Today companies must be able to react instantly to the relentless market changes, to their clients’ needs or to the giddying technological advances. In order to overcome all these challenges, collaboration has become a crucial factor.
Creating work environments that favour cooperation among all members as well as boost the exchange of knowledge and experiences is undoubtedly one of the major goals of organizations today. Such exchange leads companies to stimulate innovation, improve the degree of employee engagement and satisfaction, and as a result, achieve better business performance.
Collaboration positions knowledge as the underlying force infiltrating all areas of business activity and requires creating a work environment where any employee is absolutely free to share their ideas and develop their professional careers.
How to Become a Collaborative Organization?
However to successfully create this collaborative environment, there is no exact formula, as each company has their own idiosyncrasies, values and culture. Indeed there are common elements that all contribute to generating ideas and stimulating innovation, such as the ability of leaders to mobilize collective intelligence within their organizations and also to value the talent among their employees.
To set up an organization focused on collaboration there are some key aspects to consider:
- Full focus on finding solutions to challenges faced, over and above whoever is responsible for possible mistakes.
- Having a transparent organization in place that fosters an environment of mutual trust.
- We must understand our organization’s values clearly to be aware of what stirs us and define the goals shared by all so we know where we are going.
- Creating a collaborative environment must start from the highest level of management in the organization, otherwise it will be very difficult to transfer these values to the rest of the company. Leaders must work to make sure the vision of their organization is shared for the benefit of all and to improve the sense and pride of belonging to the company.
- Training and continual learning should be a constant in an organization supporting this collaborative culture.
Logically organizations able to build such collaborative environments will rise much more successfully to the challenge of today’s competitive world.