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Collaboration: Conceptually Simple, Operationally Challenging

Collaboration: Conceptually Simple, Operationally Challenging

March 10, 2020

Collaboration is one of the most misunderstood and overused concepts in business today.  There are many perspectives on what it is, ranging from the simplistic—working with other people to produce an outcome—to the complexity of the latest technical platform that allows data and documents to be shared. It is treated as a value, a competency, and even an event.

No wonder companies are struggling in their efforts to increase collaboration, as recently described by Harvard’s Francesca Gino. Yet building an organization’s ability to collaborate has become critical. The Institute for Corporate Productivity finds that the ability to collaborate is “highly correlated with market performance.”

Neither finding comes as any surprise. Collaboration is conceptually simple and operationally challenging. Our own hands-on experience, coupled with research implemented through our Collaborating to Win™ assessment of individual ability has consistently linked better collaboration to better outcomes. The key questions for leaders implementing strategies that hinge on partnerships and alliances with external parties are, “How to define collaboration as a behavior?” and “How to build it as an organizational capability…and advantage?”

This collection of posts from The Partnering Guide™ blog presents our perspective based on over 20 years of personal experience, research, and helping others implement collaboration as a strategic and purposeful way of working. We hope you find these posts enlightening and welcome your thoughts and stories of creating successful outcomes through collaboration.

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