Leaders at many companies typically use the term collaboration to describe brainstorming sessions that are held to generate ideas around a specific topic or problem. The leaders of those companies often seem to believe that effective collaboration means getting people together into the same room to air big ideas.
I see the power of collaboration as being so much more. It goes beyond generating ideas and gives people a sense of ownership. When people genuinely collaborate, they become invested in the success of current processes and the overall success of your organization, too.
Even if you are extremely astute in business and know what needs to be done to succeed, I encourage you to still involve your team in finding solutions.
If you go to your team and say, “Here are the answers to our current challenge . . . here is what I want us to do,” their initial reaction will be to evaluate what they’re being told. It’s just human nature. They will ask themselves questions like, “Do I like his idea . . . how does it impact me . . . is it really a good idea . . . isn’t there a better answer or solution?”
You will discover that you can achieve far better results if you bring people together and say, “We need to work together on this issue. I have some ideas, and I’m sure you have ideas, too. What do we need to do?” If you spend time thinking about it and discussing it as a group − and if you are open to letting people make improvements to your best ideas − the end result will be a group of people working together to make the best solutions happen.
So collaboration isn’t just about making better ideas. It’s about building ingagement and effectiveness to make great things happen.