What are the constraints
And what are you going to do about them? Start building bridges over these constraints on your way to your desired collaboration. Discuss this with the key people who will be affected by this change.
How change happens in an organisation determines if there is resistance, and how it’s managed determines the amount of resistance. When people are included in a transparent change process there is no need for resistance. It is not about one group of people doing something to another group.
The challenge is to create a ‘we’. Clarity about the organisational aim enables those who are affected to work through the best way to do things. That does not necessarily mean it will be easy. Significant personal reflection could be required. Conversations may need to occur that deal with people’s doubts and fears.
Relationships that are open and honest enable the naming of people’s issues so they can be understood and resolved. When difficult issues are discussed create conditions where people are not attacked, just the issue. An open and transparent change process develops and maintains a momentum for the change. Another constraint may be the use of power in the organisational context.
Some people might see that they will be disadvantaged in a more collaborative workplace. This may well be true if they are incompetent or not performing at the appropriate level. Remind them of the values and behaviours, and reiterate that they committed to this new way. They may need coaching and mentoring to make the management style change that’s required. They must also have the personal intent. Give them opportunity to learn and understand how they are the constraint. And that they will be given the support to build a bridge towards the future. Another constraint could be the current structure. It could nurture hierarchical thinking and inequality.
Hierarchy is not necessarily the problem; it is that people think like hierarchy. Because I am higher up I must be smarter than those below me. Structure needs to embrace cross-functional management based on expertise and not rank. Structure needs to be informed by the values and behaviours as discussed earlier.
An environment driven by merit and expertise, rather than rank and position. This environment will be collaborative, where the organisation and its people can be their best.