We intuitively know that there are many advantages to leveraging the wisdom, experience and resources of others, but isn’t it just quicker and easier to do it ourselves? After all, getting our own work done is how our performance is measured – and we can’t always trust that others will do what they say they will do – and we’re let down again.
Five things that you can do to shift that mindset:
1. Make sure that you and your colleagues / partners want to achieve the same thing. Explain what’s important to you and hear what’s important to them; be very clear about your common outcomes.
2. Think past your own project, function or organisation. Don’t be wedded to your own perception of what’s right; think through the implications from all angles and make decisions that benefit the whole organisation or “system”.
3. Put in place clear rules of engagement. Don’t try and control everything; be prepared to share power - while holding each other to account.
4. Spend time building relationships with your collaborators. It’ll make it easier to understand their perspective as well as have the conversations about accountability.
5. Question systems and processes that don’t reinforce collaboration. Look for systems and processes, such as knowledge management systems and performance and reward systems, that support collaborative working.