Working with various organizations, I came to realize that pretty much every single one of them believes Collaboration to be one of their core values. Other words for Collaboration may be used at times, such as Teamwork or Working Together. You find them everywhere. Clearly, it is a value that resonates with all of us, with many at the core of their being, with others at least on the rational level. We all know we will get farther when we work together.

At the same time, most organizations today still use traditional performance management tools and systems designed to reward individual performance. Incentive structures are almost entirely built on achieving individual objectives. In some organizations, team goals are set, but oftentimes they end up being a sum of individual contributions.

How does this support the value of collaboration? How does this support sharing one’s ideas and expertise? Obviously, it doesn’t. It promotes the very opposite. When we reward the achievement of individual objectives, we force our people to protect their ideas and expertise rather than share them.

Only when Collaboration itself becomes an objective, when we reinforce and reward actions and behaviors that aim to help others, not ourselves, only then can we built collaborative cultures and claim Collaboration as one of our core values. And so much more is built in this process. Relationships. Trust. Loyalty. Engagement… It’s a long list.

If you want to build a collaborative culture, if you want the value of Collaboration to be real and alive in your organization, reward it. Make it into an objective. Focus on it – continuously and consistently.

For more strategies and insights on collaboration, talk to me.

Happy collaborating!