Building A Collaborative Team

November 16, 2014

When an organization is faced with a huge initiative such as an overhaul of IT systems or an acquisition, they often rely on large and diverse teams of highly educated or talented specialists to get the job done. In a bid to meet such urgent needs, the teams are normally convened hastily and they have to work together virtually, over long distances and sometimes collaborating online. Moreover, assembling such a team is, in most cases, the best way to bring together the necessary breadth and knowledge required to pull of some of the complex tasks within the organization.

There are a number of elements taken into consideration when choosing members of a collaborative team. The most important being one’s enthusiasm, knowledge, open-mindedness, diversity, experience, curiosity to the subject of collaboration. Nevertheless, what’s important in a team is the members of that team and their desire to help the team achieve the collaborative goal.

Role of Team Members In Creating a Collaborative Workforce

When a team is formed, it is expected to produce results. However, team performance is always hindered when members of the team fail to work well together. For a team to succeed, a collaborative team environment is needed. Therefore, to create such an environment, team members must:

  • Have a common purpose and goal
  • Trust each other
  • Communicate openly and effectively
  • Clarify roles
  • Appreciate diversity
  • Balance the team’s focus

According to New Product Development Solutions (NPDS), a collaborative team is the one that creates an environment where the collective skills, knowledge and resources of each team member is allowed to flourish.

Who Benefits From Team Collaboration?

The answer is simple and obvious: EVERYONE; ranging from individual team members, to the top management, to the product manufactures, to the end users of the company’s product. Everyone benefits, and no one in the chain is left out.

Individual members of the team benefit because stress is taken off the shoulders of individual members involved. Collaboration brings with it more effective and consistent work sessions. A client waiting for a big project on a rush deadline will also benefit from the team as it implies that the work will be carried out more efficiently and in time. And again, for most businesses, time is money. So, collaboration within a team will surely save the client both time and money – the most valuable benefit to them.

Characteristics of a Collaborative Team

There are many characteristics that an effective team needs to demonstrate. some of them include:

  • Clear responsibilities
  • Clear direction
  • Knowledgeable members
  • Reasonable operating procedures
  • Good interpersonal relationships
  • Shared success and failures
  • Good external relationships

Actually, it is through collaborative teams that frameworks and strategies pertaining to business development can be best handled. Nonetheless, their efficiency essentially depends on the kind of approach the team leaders will take and their ability to handle arising issues, ranging from simple to complex ones.

Advantages of Building Collaborative Teams

There are several benefits of efficient and effective workplace collaboration:

  1. A collaborative process combines a variety of different perspectives from various technical and professional backgrounds. The result is that all angles of views are considered.
  2. Creativity is encouraged. Workplace collaboration raises the profile of ideas from different outlook from within the organization. The result is often creative solutions as challenges are tackled from different angles.
  3. Collaborative workforce takes advantage of synergies. Separation of responsibilities or elements of the project help bring out the benefit of synergy to the task. Overlapping areas and incidences or re-doing are more easily identified, and eliminated.
  4. Collaboration brings balance to decision making and improves delivery time. the project is likely to be completed far earlier before schedule.

As has been mentioned, forming collaborative teams is not easy and it is best realized when a professional is involved. An executive coach can help you sort out all that is involved in forming the team so your business can reap enormous benefits.