Coach Dan explains why collaboration is key to building successful businesses.
And I quote, “Our internal collaboration sucks; no one works together and I don’t get it!” end quote. A business coaching client of mine recently spoke these words out of frustration and anger and confusion. He was trying to point blame at everyone and everything except the real issue….the culture that he has created. The company has been moderately successful, but falling apart at the seams as of late. Although he wants to find people in his organization to point a finger at as the root of all evil, all fingers should be squarely pointing back at him. The problem is not in his people. My client, the boss, runs his business using the antiquated “Mushroom strategy”, meaning that he believes in keeping all of his employees and managers in the dark and covered in, shall we say, garbage. No discussion of strategy; no conversation with his teams; no open discussions and you guessed it, no collaboration…. and yet his frustration is focused on why no one works together! As my grandson would say, “Dude, wake up and smell the….” Well you know what.
The successful business of this generation is one in which everyone talks and collaborates with each other; each department; every manager and leader from the top down. The goal simply is to communicate better and collaborate more. However, in a new world defined by the power and use of information, some still stagger around in a world where communication and collaboration fall to a short sighted fear of openness and sharing.
Collaboration at work is the ability to be open to new ideas, be willing to share and not to get into a discussion with a pre-conceived agenda. The goal of any business owner should be to nurture a spirit of innovation using a collaborative work environment so that the best ideas are shared, agreed upon and eventually implemented.
Most start-ups that actually succeed in their first year will have a rich story of collaboration! Start-ups that survive have created cohesive, open and innovative work environments with everyone sharing the vision of what a successful future looks like. And, if you have investors, active and open collaboration is the best way to keep them off your back.
So what kind of culture do you nurture? Do you have a shared vision with your staff? It’s the difference of a staff that comes to work and picks up a pay check and one that comes to work with a purpose based on a shared vision of the future. Everyone from the receptionist to the field staff should have a clear vision and a passion for the company’s growth. This is why a lot of employee-owned companies perform well as they believe in a shared responsibility to help one another, collaborate and achieve success.
We’re finding more and more successful companies today reflect a totally open structure, where management and ownership share everything which inspires staffs to work for common goals and vision. I’ve got my hands full with my client, but you can bet that one of the next questions that I’ll ask (because his staff is asking the question behind his back) is… “What do you have to hide?”
Is your business in need of creating a collaborative work culture? Give me a call or write. This is what we do at Grow Southwest and we’re open for business.