Organisations able to harness human energy and successfully embrace technology positively shape their corporate development. Collaboration is essential to transformation.

Elevated teamwork makes individually spinning cogs connect creating a multiplier effect which propels organisations forward.

Good examples of collaboration efforts are Wikipedia and Open Source Software. Success here is owned by everybody, there is a sense of greater purpose and the ambition is to create full transparency.

A governance framework serves as a facilitator to channel innovative output. Its pillars evolve over time to maintain the original spirit. The appeal for participants to contribute is content, substance and input to the collective good.

Organisations embarking on a journey to transform business operations end-to-end need to recognise these ingredients for success.

The necessary individual behaviours to foster a collaborative culture have not changed since our school days. There is no need to reinvent the wheel:

  • Be genuine
  • Listen and pay attention
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Sharing is caring
  • Patience is a virtue
  • Do not cry wolf
  • Give respect to earn respect
  • No shouting and no excuses
  • Say please and thank you
  • Do the right thing

A great yard stick is to establish whether a specific action, idea or behaviour really benefits the overall objective.

The Financial Services sector is recovering from the deepest and longest lasting financial crisis since the Great Depression.

At a human level, organisations such as banks need to disentangle themselves from a period of individualism and survival to collaboration and growth.

A great avenue is to create an amnesty period to reach out, reflect and reconcile. The first 100+ days of a transformation journey should involve a large scale listening exercise.

Going back to basics provides an excellent platform to inspire collaboration. Focus on team building exercises involving camping, hiking or other (outdooractivities; push the reset button.

At a business level, financial services firms must operate like consultancies to transform. Consultancies have flexible access to talent, quickly assess expertise required for an initiative and centrally re-allocate staff based on commercials.

A central team such as Human Resources can pro-actively partner with the business to effectively staff mission critical transformation initiatives.

Using an internal tool mirroring LinkedIN, the HR team can identify available talent, skill sets and experience to also spot the gaps and requirements to onboard, train and mentor professionals.

In practice, the principal lead driving a transformation initiative should actively work with the central team to conduct interviews, assimilate teams and contribute to performance evaluations.

Direct managers and mentors maintain a significant influence on individual careers.

This set up has the added benefit of empowering professionals to take increased responsibility for their own personal development, mobility and career growth.

Given time, willingness and determination, organisations will break traditional business boundaries to spur information flow, knowledge sharing and ultimately achieve collaboration.

It is a challenge to keep it simple in a complex working world. Let’s innovate together to make a real difference.

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