Collaboration isn’t simply about ‘being nice to each other’. Effective collaboration whether between individuals or whole businesses is about strong, robust relationships where partners can scrutinise each other and deal with conflicts constructively in an environment based on trust. In order to create this collaborative environment, Socia believe there are three interconnected elements that need to be addressed: the Governance of the relationship; the operations of the relationship; and the behaviours demonstrated by those involved. All our assignments whether evaluating a Board, mentoring a leader or mediating a conflict between organisations, will address these three foundations of successful collaboration.
Successful collaborative relationships are built on three foundations:
- Good governance – with an agreed common purpose, clear accountabilities, and joint decision making mechanisms
- Efficient operations – with shared access to reliable information, well defined interface processes, and trusted communications
- Collaborative behaviours – with leaders who act as role models and a culture that encourages constructive challenge and joint problem solving.
To collaborate or not isn’t a binary choice
- Different relationships will need different amounts of collaboration at different times. You can plot relationships on a spectrum of collaboration as a means of prioritising resources
- And in an individual relationship, effective partners don’t try to collaborate everywhere. They identify the key points of interdependence and focus their collaborative effort in these areas.
Collaborative leaders are particularly good at three things:
- Building relationships – often with other leaders who see the world quite differently to themselves
- Handling conflict with confidence – viewing conflict as an opportunity to spread understanding about others’ motivations and perspectives
- Sharing control – because one thing is for certain you can’t be a collaborative leader on your own.
Socia and collaboration
At Socia we share our expertise in collaboration in three primary media areas: