Nine-step-header

 

Make sure everyone understands what it is you want to do and why.

 

Everyone knowing what success looks like galvanises the collective effort. 
It creates momentum because everyone is moving in the same direction. 
 
All the musicians in an orchestra need to be reading the same sheet music; otherwise the conductor has no hope of producing anything pleasing to the ear.   Spend time understanding what will be different if you create the collaborative environment you identified in Step 1.  Discuss with affected colleagues what values and behaviours will be present that were not previously.  
 
The process we suggest is to gather the relevant group, brainstorm and then develop values and behaviours that are congruent with the desired collaborative environment.   This needs to be specific, for example if we define a behaviour as ‘we do what we say’, then this needs to be articulated so everyone gets it.  Explain it clearly and play it out in your organisational setting. People need to make commitments to others that are specific, e.g. “I will respond to your request by 12pm tomorrow. This is my promise to you. If, for whatever reason, I can’t deliver on that promise, I will renegotiate with you before the time expires”. 
 
Discuss multiple scenarios of ‘doing what you say’ so everyone understands what it means.  The aim is for people to be responsible and accountable; not for this to be enforced by someone else.  
 
Once you have developed a handful of values and behaviours [more than 2 and less than 5] formal commitment is the next action. Ask every person to make a formal, public commitment to each other; that they intend to live the values and behaviours you have decided upon.  And they will support others to do the same thing. 
 
If people are silent when another work colleague doesn’t behave congruently with the values and behaviours, then they are complicit in the breaking of the collaborative commitments.   Values and behaviours relate to everyone equally.  We are all human beings and all deserve to be respected and honoured in our workplace. 
The CEO needs to respect and honour the warehouse picker and vice versa.  
 
The living of the espoused values and behaviours will create the environment that will move you towards your desired collaboration.  The values and behaviours are the ‘what’ in pursuit of the ‘why’, which is the essence of the collaborative workplace.