“Diversity in Counsel, Unity in Command” – Cyrus the Great
In our final blog of this series we are completing our look at the skills a leader should have to foster a collaborative workforce. These final two skills take observation and finesse – be firm, and loosen up!
Collaboration can be overdone – enthusiastic, or overly social employees may end up trying to collaborate on everything. Teams wind up in endless meetings and debates while nimble decision-making and responsiveness have given way to futile efforts to achieve consensus. Instead, effective collaborative leaders direct teams with a strong hand. Teams are formed and released as different challenges and opportunities arise. That leader must also assign clear decision rights and responsibilities so that someone is empowered to end the discussion and make a final call. Proposing ideas and challenging one another leads to innovation and higher job satisfaction, but the chair ultimately calls the end of the meeting and makes a final decision if no consensus is achieved.
Finally, a collaborative leader learns how to harness ideas, people and resources from all over – leaving the old silo, command and control leadership style behind. Leaders must tap into the connectivity of our new global networks to get all disparate players to work together effectively. Getting at the heart of complex collaborative efforts across organizational divisions, generations, expertise areas, and operating norms make those efforts, our human capital, and our organizations far more valuable.
Collaboration is worth every effort – let us know if we can help