Building a collaborative culture is a long and involved process, and just thinking about all of the steps involved can be intimidating. Inspired by guides like this one from Carol Kinsey Goman on fostering collaboration in your company, we decided to put together a little guide of our own. We spend a lot of time discussing collaboration at Samepage because we're always looking for new great ways to improve our team and our software. Over the last couple years we've put together a few small guides to help get you started. Take a look through this roundup and if you want to dive deeper use the handy links to read the full articles.
1. Know the difference between teamwork and collaboration.
"Cooperation is when two or more people share information and resources in pursuit of individual goals.
Teamwork is when individuals have a shared goal, and cooperate to achieve the shared goal.
Collaboration is a process through which individuals with a shared purpose develop goals and cooperate to complete them."
The differences are subtle in a way, so you can read our full article that elaborates on the differences here.
2. Build a team of collaborators.
"At one time or another, we’ve all needed to work with others to accomplish a given task or goal. Some of those experiences were great, others not so much. Did you ever stop to wonder why that is so?
Companies can’t make forward progress if their employees can’t work well together. Time has shown that without successful collaboration, companies are doomed to fail.
Great collaboration starts with the people. So if you want to get ahead in your career, developing these specific characteristics can help ensure that people will always want you on their team."
See our full guide here.
3. Create a collaborative environment.
"For many years now we’ve seen how having a collaborative workspace can boost innovation, creativity, and productivity. We’ve all heard or read of Pixar’s and Google’s spaces — from common café and “play” areas to furniture on wheels.
But creating such a workspace takes thoughtful consideration. The perfect collaborative workspace can be frustratingly elusive. No two companies are the same. Workforces, core values, cultures, work processes — they’re all different."
4. Set up the right reward structure.
"As leaders, it's our job to encourage and reward the right behaviors. It’s not always easy to identify which behaviors are the right ones to encourage. We often tend to reward individual achievement – and associate individual talent with group success. However one study looked at sports teams to see if increasing the individual level of talent meant more team success. It didn't."
We have 9 ways you can reward team collaboration in our guide.
5. Give your team the freedom to choose the collaboration software they need.
"Yet, the reality is that most businesses have far more informal workflows than formal, structured ones. Many of these informal workflows are spontaneous. They appear and disappear with a specific need. Rarely are they hierarchical in nature, originating from a leader who directs his minions.
So neither can I imagine using any of these powerhouse project management applications for managing less complex projects, such as writing an eBook or ordering lunch for 20 people. I'm rarely trying to land a satellite on a comet.
The truth is, engaged, well-trained employees can manage much of what they need to do without being micro-managed by their managers. Why should their project management tool micro-manage them as well?"
You might be sold at this point, but if not you can read more here.
Get out there and try it!
These posts usually just tell you at this point that you're more than half way there (afterall knowing is half the battle). We all know it's not that easy so we're here to help. Let us know if you have any questions via twitter, and subscribe to the blog for more tips.