Open Thread Thursday | Business : What's the one thing every company could do today to encourage a culture of collaboration?

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Every Thursday we'll pose an open question in one or more channels on Today we start with the business channel. Our first question: What's one thing every company--no matter what size or industry--could do to encourage a culture of collaboration?

And since we want to encourage a culture of collaboration on, we'll start here. Have ideas? We want to hear them. Post your thoughts below.

Have a topic you think we should ask for future open threads? Post them here, or send them to a list moderator.

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pchestek's picture
Open Minded

One barrier to collaboration is worrying that if someone has a better idea it means you're not smart, competent, skilled, etc. An atmosphere where everyone, top to bottom, is allowed to be wrong and have a lot of bad ideas is huge.

luthersnyder's picture

Management and staff should lead by example and teach the benefits of collaboration. Collaboration should be taught as "the way" not "a way" for operational thinking and doing. Incentives should be used to encourage that culture. Employees should be hired with a non-adverse attitude toward open communication and collaboration. Managers should embrace and lead by the collaboration example.

Jim Cribbs's picture

...even if those ideas ultimately fail. People are afraid to stick their necks out and try new things, but often collaboration requires the freedom to fail (without getting canned).

Like this one damned project manager I had who was always critical of my guys trying anything new. That was a killer for collaboration in our team.

gajownik's picture

I agree with Jim. Designing an environment where it is okay to experiment and take chances. An incubator that provides a buffer from the bottom line. And then one day a radical 'success' will contribute to that bottom line.

Honda actually has a nice series of videos about failure

I'd also recommend

Jason Stokes's picture

On some teams you may find that there's one person putting forth most of the ideas. In order to encourage collaboration, companies need to encourage everyone to input their ideas. Like the age old suggestion box, companies can create intranets or portals where they can announce plans for a particular project and ask for anonymous input via some web form. In addition to this, forming a task force to discuss possible directions would also be good. These two things provides the less outspoken folks a place to submit inputs and also a place that encourages open discussion.

ssara's picture

I think its better to see on the efficiency of the people before expecting great result.