Is your organisation’s progress frustrated by inter-departmental friction? Does working with key suppliers or customers seem to be much more difficult than it should be? Do you find yourself in a Strategic Partnership in name only?
Collaborating or Conflicting?
There business world is overflowing with talk of “cross-functional working”, “inter-departmental collaboration” and “Strategic Partnerships with suppliers.” Sadly the reality is that these good intentions often fail to get beyond the talk.
Why is Collaboration such a challenge?
Collaborative approaches make sense viewed from a logical perspective. However in these contexts logic counts for little; and the feelings, thoughts, behaviours and actions of leaders count for much. This should not surprise us. As leaders we need to do much more than talk; unless we are prepared to fundamentally address the design and management of work, the measurement of performance, and the way we set strategic aims and objectives, we are likely to be frustrated.
Collaborating to succeed.
At BPS we help you and your leaders understand and adjust the conditions that impede collaboration or enable it to flourish. Between and within organisations the usual culprits often include but are not limited to:
- Strategic objectives dominated by internal performance as opposed to customer experience and/or market performance
- Commercial payment mechanisms
- Insufficient time invested in personal relationships and deliberate interventions that build trust and mutual understanding at all levels
- Lack of visibility of the other organisation’s objectives
- Introspection, no-one has the perspective of the flow of work through the organisations
- Voice of the ultimate customer drowned-out by more immediate agendas
- Propensity to make decisions on anecdotes and entrench opinions based on war-stories of the past as opposed to the facts
- Departmental targets and incentives; these can divide or unite
- Executive teams are often less than high performing in this regard; putting functional performance and personal achievement ahead of the best interests of the enterprise or partnership
- The relationships in the top team(s)
- Politics and hidden agendas
- No processes, the purpose of which is to share knowledge and understanding between departments and organisations
Achieving real collaboration can be truly transformational; the whole being far greater than the sum of the parts, with benefits on an interpersonal and organisational level. We have acted as a uniting force within and between organisations on many occasions, and are adept at creating the environment where collaboration flourishes out of the most adversarial relationships.
What we find is by investing time and effort early on in the intervention, those involved create their own momentum and adopt ever more collaborative approaches, thus our support can be less and less intensive. So before you reach for the contract or call in the legal team, why not give us a call?
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