What is the Collaborative WayTM?
We all come to the workplace with different backgrounds and expectations about how we're supposed to work together. As a result, we are prone to ineffectiveness, misunderstanding and upset. In order to create an environment conducive to collaboration, we need to design and take on learning an intentional way of working together. The Collaborative WayTM is one such model. It is a simple model that provides mutual understanding and a common language, producing powerful structure for ongoing coaching and learning. For well over a decade, it has proven a critical strategic advantage and satisfying workplace.
The Collaborative Way
Harnessing the collective intelligence, imagination and spirit of an organization’s work force provides an essential strategic advantage in today’s highly competitive global marketplace.
The Collaborative Way is a designed way of relating that provides a pathway to accomplish this advantage. When the seven fundamentals are practiced consistently, it results in organizational speed and agility, extraordinary teamwork and a more enriching and satisfying working environment.
Focus: For a group of people to work together powerfully, they need to share a commitment to a compelling future—be it a vision, mission, strategic intent, or goal.
Listening Generously: Learning to listen for the contribution in each other’s speaking versus listening from our assessments, opinions, and judgments.
Speaking Straight: To speak honestly in a way that forwards what we are up to. Making clear and direct requests. Being willing to surface ideas or take positions that may result in conflict when it is a necessary step towards reaching our objectives.
Being For Each Other: Supporting each other’s success. Operating from the point of view that we are all in this together and that any one of us cannot win at the expense of someone else or the enterprise. Looking for each other’s greatness and providing rigorous support when needed.
Honoring Commitments: Making commitments that forward what we are up to. Being responsible for our commitments, holding others accountable for their commitments and supporting others in fulfilling their commitments. Not using current circumstances to invalidate someone or their commitment.
Acknowledgement / Appreciation: Each member commits to be a source of acknowledgement and appreciation for the team; this includes giving, receiving, and requesting acknowledgement.
Two Guiding Principles
Inclusion: Learning to ask the question, “Who needs to be included in this conversation, decision or project that would produce speed, effective action and the required result?”
Alignment: Having the concern, “Are we addressing this issue, policy or problem with regard for building alignment?” vs. forcing our view or merely going along with the prevailing view.
All of this arises from an Ethic of Responsibility and takes place in the Context of Learning. The above are not ideals or standards to denigrate ourselves or others with; rather, they are openings for continuous improvement. Using these fundamentals to justify anything, especially actions lacking thought, is counter-productive.
© February Lloyd Fickett & Associates, Inc.