Strategies for Better Workplace Collaboration

September 2009
by Carol Kinsey Goman

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Strategies for Better Workplace Collaboration

by Carol Kinsey Goman

Most leaders agree that effective collaboration is more important than ever in today’s turbulent business environment. A do-more-with-less reality requires ongoing teamwork to produce innovative, cost-effective, and targeted products and services. In fact, a company’s very survival may depend on how well it can combine the potential of its people and the quality of the information they possess with their ability—and willingness—to share that knowledge throughout the organization.

But here’s the problem.

The collaboration that is so critical to organizations is being blocked by knowledge-hoarding silo structures and the accompanying silo mentality that leads to power struggles, lack of cooperation, and loss of productivity.

So what’s to be done? Here are the strategies I’ve found most successful during my 25 years of work with clients.

Build a culture of trust. Trust is the foundation for collaboration, the conduit through which knowledge flows. Without trust, an organization loses its emotional glue. In a culture of suspicion, people withhold information, hide behind psychological walls, and withdraw from participation.

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