This week at Sutherland, we’re taking a look at the importance of breaking down silos and fostering collaboration in the workplace. Here are a few recent articles that outline the benefits of collaboration, and explore how organizations can move away from silos and toward creating thriving, productive teams. Enjoy! (Feel free to tweet us, or follow us @CLARITYes_SGS to continue the conversation…)
Use Technology to Create Value
In any business, collaboration has the potential to drive continued efficiency and improve outcomes. When collaboration is facilitated by the latest online tools, that potential skyrockets. Online tools and platforms are increasingly being used to reinforce the benefits of collaboration, and have even introduced unexpected value to businesses, including cultural innovation, original thinking and improved ROI.
Strike a Balance: Focus & Collaboration
Most business leaders would like to increase their company’s productivity, but that doesn’t mean they’re going about it the right way. According to Gensler’s 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey, only one in four workers feel they’re in optimal environments. So what can companies do to increase productivity? Maintaining a balance of collaboration and focus is a great place to start. As Diane Hoskins, co-Chief Executive Officer at Gensler, says, “Our survey findings demonstrate that focus and collaboration are complementary work modes… One cannot be sacrificed in the workplace without directly impacting the other. We know that both focus and collaboration are crucial to the success of any organization in today’s economy.”
Leading the Way
These days, the top-down approach just isn’t cutting it. Business leaders can’t rely on developing smart strategies and expecting employees to carry them out. As member-based advisory firm CEB reports, if leaders want to succeed, they must possess or develop “network leadership,” – the ability to help employees collaborate across business silos to strengthen productivity and performance. It appears that America’s business leaders have their work cut out for them; only 44% of the more than 15,000 employees surveyed by CEB said their managers connect them with co-workers to help with their work.
United We Stand
This recent article by Forbes also tasks executive leaders and management with the responsibility of equipping staff with the right mindset to break down barriers and strive for a collaborative workplace. While many executives pin departmental inefficiencies on individual employees who might be immature or simply self-serving, those behaviors are more likely to be the result of silo mentality, rather than the root cause of it. According to this article, one of the most important steps leaders can take to break down silos and create a productive team and unified front is to promote collaboration and creativity.