In their article, When Leaders Struggle with Collaboration, Ron Carucci and Luis Velasquez discuss their observation that “Most of an enterprise’s competitive value is created and delivered at organizational “seams,” where functions come together to form capabilities (think marketing, consumer analytics, and R&D, together developing innovation capability). That requires leaders of those functions to collaborate across the silos to deliver that value.”
But collaboration doesn’t come easily to leaders who have competed to get to their positions.
Harvard Business Review research indicates that the top reasons for collaboration failure include silos (67%), no collaborative vision from leaders (32%), and senior managers not wanting to give up control (32%).
Carucci and Velasquez describe collaboration as: “a complex set of skills and attributes. It combines active listening, managing conflict, shared problem solving, self-regulation, humility, curiosity, and a caring orientation toward others.”
The Peer Learning Institute advocates setting managers from different parts of the organization who are at the same level of authority into small peer learning groups. There, they focus on sharing what they know as they learn together how to handle a shared current challenge. The peer learning process is entirely collaborative, requiring active listening, shared problem solving, curiosity, and a supportive and encouraging relationship between the members of the group.
In this process, siloes come down as different perspectives are heard, the managers support each other, and mutual trust develops.
And why is collaboration so important to leaders? As Carucci and Velasquez comment: “In today’s hyper-connected world, lone wolves are becoming a thing of the past. Today, inclusive, humble, and other-oriented leaders are seen as the most credible and influential. Effectively collaborating is key to becoming and remaining a leader of lasting impact.”
Contact The Peer Learning Institute for more information regarding collaborative peer learning groups.
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