One of the terme we often bandy around in organizations is the topic of collaboration. In fact, that is the most accepted business term in most organizations today. As someone who has worked in the area of the environment and ecosystems for many years, I think it can be very useful to always think about the synergistic effects we see in many environments like rainforests. If you have ever had the chance to spend time in one you would be aware of the symbiotic relationships that exist between tree, roots and orchids. To me collaboration is about finding that right condition for everyone to thrive and create the best possible product.
The word collaborate comes from the Latin root of collaborare. It has two interesting definitions with one definition having a different connotation in different parts of the world.
The Oxford dictionary has two definitions for collaboration:
#1 - Defined as " the action of working with someone to produce or create something"
and #2 - " traitorous cooperation with an enemy", stemming from experience in World War Two.
How is collaboration defined in your organization? A working definition I like to share comes from Beyerlein, Nemiro, Beyerlein, 2008 in their article:
Collaboration occurs when individuals work together towards a shared goal, completing the work is dependent on relationships with a purpose, and individuals working together in purposeful ways toward a shared goal are committed to one another’s success”
I always like to point to these three essential conditions of collaboration:
Relationships with purpose
Commitment to One Another's Success
What are you going to clarify or work on these essential ingredients for collaboration?
A term that takes collaboration one step further, which is gaining ground in many organizations today is co-creation. When things are co-created, all parties are equal. There is an essence of "not knowing" what will be created in the process of adding one and one, which may equal 3 or 5 or 10... Co-creation requires certain elements including:
- An ability to check ego at the door
- The ability to work in the unknown, from a perspective of "creating something more or different"
- Deep levels of trust
- A leveraging of strengths, talents and abilities
What examples do you see of co-creation in your organization? In collaboration? Where and when are these approaches essential in moving your impact and bottom-line forward?
Over the next few weeks I'll be doing more posts on collaboration, AND you can check out past Teams365 posts on collaboration here.
Later this month I'll be speaking on Collaboration at the HRPA Durham event - hope that you'll join us!
Have a great Tuesday,