Diversity and Collaboration

Five Ways to Ignite Collaboration and Support by Design

Aug. 15, 2018
How do you help your organization achieve a high level of performance?

Going at it alone seems easier, less trying and more efficient. Often, the barriers to collaboration appear onerous and simply not worth the effort. After all, just get it accomplished. We’ve all been there as leaders; navigating this inflection point between getting the job done and getting the job done in a way that is embraced and revered. These two approaches do yield different results in ways that can foster unintended consequences. One approach is focused on outcomes, the other is focused on processes. Focusing on processes eventually produces predictable results. Focusing only on outcomes often yields a less desirable result. Effectively designing a process that emphasizes collaboration and support is a key to leadership success.

Here are five ways to ignite collaboration and support by design:

1. Understand the end result.

This sounds rudimentary yet it is not. All too often, the end is lost at the beginning and understanding the focal point of the entire effort and keeping it within your crosshairs is all it takes to harvest excellence from performance. The goal is to achieve the end result in a way that maximizes collaboration and support without focusing on it to the point of distraction. This drives buy-in which fosters sustainability of actions. Do your homework.

2. Do your homework.

Determine what and who is needed for your project to be successful. Identify the stakeholders affected and those who may have input. Is there a common interest? If not, create one. Assume you are not aware of all the important stakeholders and their interests. Discern what will make them more successful from their point of view. Ask for help.

3. Ask for help.

Determine what the stakeholders care about and align how your need for help fulfills their need for support. Ask for their input on validity of concept, approach, organizational impact, and value of final outcome. Ask for their involvement as a valued partner and initiate a dialog. Socialize.

4. Socialize

Create a buzz around your initiative. Tie it back to the fundamental needs and priorities of the organization. Socialize your end result, your plan to get there, the benefits as you see them should your idea become successful, and secure buy-in. Get an answer.

5. Get an answer.

Know where your stakeholders stand. Answer their concerns with responses that drive commonality, inclusion and dialog. Drive to resolution. Understanding the stakeholder’s vantage point will offer perspective and perspective is the gift that fuels business success.

Goal achievement is more reliant upon inclusion than on missed opportunities. Predictive consistency is a powerful ally to success. If your organization can accurately predict that they will be included by historical actions and by design, the chances of having your proposal embraced is higher. Collaboration and support drive marketplace dominance to the next level. Your vigilance in this regard is the powerful force that helps your organization achieve that level of performance.

About the Author

J.A. Rodriguez | Senior Manager, IIS EHS

J.A. Rodriguez, CSP, SGE, is a senior manager, IIS EHS, at Raytheon Co. and CEO of Make My Day Strategies LLC. An avid blogger and author, he is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), an EHS Today Editorial Advisory Board Member, a member of the Voluntary Protection Program Participants' Association (VPPPA) Board of Directors, a professional keynote and empowering speaker, an engineer, a patented inventor (patent# 5,285,961), a credentialed instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a former adjunct college professor in the field of electronics engineering. He was named one of “The 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS” and Raytheon twice has been named one of America’s Safest Companies.

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