Collaboration is a business and leadership intelligence

Finding new ways to collaborate is being played out within many industry sectors, but it’s fraught with difficulty when external and internal forces are pitched against the spirit of collaboration.

The spirit of collaboration is a mindset and an intelligence, when embedded throughout an organisation it is seen within the behaviours of leaders who are able to create working environments where opportunity and innovation can thrive.

The main component in On Purposes approach to creating opportunity is developing working environments rooted in trust. Without trust collaboration is simply co-operation.

The framework we use to develop trusting working environments comes in three parts.

  • Setting Intention – Creating organisations and teams that have a bigger sense of ‘why’
  • Establishing and maintaining connections – Creating relationships which are rooted in trust
  • Focussing on awareness – Creating organisations and leaders which are self reflective

To summarise, On Purpose’s approach to collaboration is to develop organisations and individuals which have a mindset akin to collaboration and are self reflective enough to recognise when other forces are dragging them back to mere cooperation or a competitive mindset. In a nutshell organisations and leaders need the collaborative intelligence to go from an ‘I’ way of thinking (I win you lose) to a ‘we’ way of thinking (a win:win).

Creating working environments driven by intention

The first part of our framework aligns organisations, teams and individuals to a higher purpose. When something matters enough to those working on the problems, they will dig deep to find the solutions and take personal pride in having contributed to making a difference on a shared collaborative journey.

Creating this type of working environment means:

  • Aligning all stakeholders around a higher purpose
  • Developing the leadership and organisational mind set that seeks to find win:win solutions
  • Enabling all those involved to have meaning in their work

Creating working environments rooted in connections developed on the bedrock of trust

Developing trust is an attitude, we can choose to trust. No one wants to be blind in business and extend trust where it’s not warranted, but at the same time if businesses and leaders are aligned to a higher purpose then there are ways to build trust. Collaboration gets played out within the dynamics of human relationships which is why seeking ways to build and create trust are fundamental to collaboration.

Creating this type of working environment means:

  • Being aware of the multiple needs at play
  • Intentionally working at creating and maintaining trusting relationships, breaking down silos and bringing the right people together to achieve efficiencies.
  • Developing a psychologically safe space where you can have your voice heard, be yourself and have a sense of belonging. This safe space enables bottom up contribution and innovation to happen.

Creating working environments which focus on becoming aware

For organisations and individuals to change the way their working environment operates and become more collaborative they need to become consciously aware of their behaviours and the external impacts that go against collaboration. This awareness requires honesty and courage. Honesty in taking ownership of behaviours, habits and processes which go against the spirit of collaboration and the courage to do something about them.

Creating this type of working environment means:

  • Being consciously aware of being pulled back into old ways of working and developing relationships (these are habits and biases which have a very powerful pull)
  • Letting go – whenever change occurs and we go from a way of working/relating to another there is a letting go required
  • Recognising where there are things- may be processes, people, regulations etc. that you can’t change. How do you work with them and not let them impact the spirit of collaboration?

When we build collaborative working environments rooted in trust and a mind set of win:win opportunity and innovation can thrive. It’s this business and leadership intelligence which meets the needs of all stakeholders and creates sustainable businesses which can morph and grow with the rapidly changing world in which we all live.

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