Humility is the too infrequent, secret ingredient of great collaboration. But, you can’t mandate humility any more than you can successfully mandate collaboration. Both, however, can be encouraged, rewarded and fostered organically. Recently, Creative Growth – along with our partners SilverEdge and Deltek, hosted a forum for professional services firm leaders in Chicago called “Creating Collaborative Advantage”. Here’s what our panelists had to say:
Tip #2 Catalyze your culture – Jim Signorelli of eswStoryLab said, “The most important measure of a collaborative culture is that executive egos in the firm take a backseat to the overall client objective.” Humility trumps ego. “One maxim we have is that being the person influenced is just as important as being the influencer. Go in to a collaborative situation with the intention of being influenced and a lot more will take place,” Jim added. Other essentials for creating a collaborative culture include leadership modeling the behavior, rewarding collaboration and providing the time (cut a collaborator some billable hour slack) and tools (coaching on skills like listening) that facilitate collaboration.
Tip #3 Operate organically – “I think one of the biggest mistakes is mandating collaboration,” Bret Tushaus of Deltek (and Kona) observed. “You can’t mandate collaboration. Let it happen more organically and celebrate the bright spots. And, I would venture to say that managing from the middle – out is far more effective than managing from the top – down. Peer pressure is an extremely strong influencer. So if you’ve got a group of people in your organization that is savvy, that grabs onto these collaborative technologies, that understands the value and understands the benefits of collaborating to achieve goals, and other people see them, other people see what they’re producing and how they’re benefitting from this, they’re going to be the biggest influencers in the firm.”
Want to know more about Social Collaboration? Check out Kona.
Kona by Deltek is a free, cloud-based social collaboration platform designed with people and conversations in mind. It was created to empower collaboration for any group to privately organize, discuss and get things done together.