Read more: Collaboration model, the ultimate toolkit to succeed – PART ONE
“Groups of people apply a Collaboration Model to communicate, collaborate and coordinate to get activities done.”https://www.sciencedirect.com/
The collaboration model’s three Cs
Establishing and orchestrating how teams collaborate to reach a shared objective is challenging. Indeed, it entails three complex human activities: collaboration, communication and coordination.
Upon observing teams accomplishing a task, I started to identify some behavioural patterns. Some of them are incredibly relevant to make the collaboration effective and successful.
Collaboration is second nature to humans once we recognise that humans are social animals. The first “C” is indispensable for success in the dynamic and complex business world. A one-man show is never an option for a thriving business. The pillars of successful collaboration are trust and respect, essential for creating a secure and productive team environment. Trust is the foundation for prioritising tasks. Respect is critical for building and maintaining a safe space where creativity can flourish. I consider these values like muscles requiring consistent training to remain in top form. Combined, they create a powerful synergy that allows people to work together seamlessly to achieve their goals. Everyone’s objectives must align, from senior managers to junior developers, to find the best compromise for making crucial decisions.
Clear and effective communication is crucial to establish a successful collaboration model. When both top-down and bottom-up communication are self-explanatory, teams can communicate openly and share their challenges, business needs, and stakeholder expectations. This is essential for fostering excellent team chemistry and achieving success. A clear and consistent project brief is one example of improving communication. Although raising the bar on communication quality can be challenging, it is the only way to build trust and respect. Communication should always be straightforward, inclusive, and consistent. This helps team members to actively promote a feedback culture to encourage an honest and transparent exchange of relevant information.
Allowing teams to collaborate to achieve success is a complex process that requires coordination. It’s essential to ensure that every team member is on the same page and that everything works efficiently, avoiding delays or roadblocks. A clear plan must be in place to achieve this, accompanied by strict adherence to a timeline. This approach is the ultimate tool to prioritise tasks and mitigate the risk of every decision effectively. By establishing a well-coordinated effort, team members can focus on their responsibilities. At the same time, they can track any dependencies and be ready to offer a plan B in case of unexpected blockers. Building a high-performing team that achieves success is a balancing act. It requires coordination, a clear plan, and a backup plan to minimise risks and ensure a successful outcome.
Humans tend to hack everything, but being too much of a hacker in a business environment can cause confusion and a lack of accountability. To encourage collaboration, I lead by example and apply the three Cs – communication, coordination, and cooperation – to create an inclusive environment where every team member feels safe sharing their ideas. This approach can help achieve top performance and unlock business value.
Caveats and feedback
I haven’t hashed out all the details of the framework I developed, but I tried to write down my reflections.
I would love your feedback. Have you ever designed a collaboration model? Have you found better approaches?