Welcome to the 6th post of my series on bridging the gap between strategy design and strategy delivery. An initiative launched by Brightline in collaboration with Project Management Institute to bring 10 guiding principles to leaders to help them succeed in delivering their strategies. The training is offered on Coursera and can be access for free for a limited time. Make sure you check it out before it is too late. The link to the course is at the end of this post.

In the latest post, we talked about keeping your strategy simple and keeping your workforce focused. But if they were focused at the task at hand, or the strategic initiative at hand, is that sufficient for them to succeed? The answer outright is NO! you need a lot more than just focus to drive success. And that is the beauty of having these guiding principles presented in such manner. Principle six is about a different sense of togetherness. Engagement!

Principle 6 – Promote Team Engagement and Effective Cross Business Cooperation

When your best skilled resources are assigned to your most difficult initiatives to help achieve its success, you need to make sure they collaborate in a way that is so dynamic and safe at the same time. This module presented one of the reports that says 35% of research respondents say that 35% lack the ability to work cross function. You guessed it, the monster of silos!

You may have heard of the Tuckman Theory. Tuckman theory is several decades old and talks about the stages the teams go through before they become productive and coherent. If you want to make sure that your team work well together, you must understand the different stages they go through before they get to that exemplary dynamic stage. I have written about it in an old post Is Your Team in Harmony? Understanding the cycle of development of a collaborative team will help you appreciate one major philosophy presented by Rita McGrath, a faculty member of Columbia Business since 1993

The concept of psychological safety: in a team where people feel they can admit misgivings or mistakes or a differing point of view from what everybody else in the team is saying. This results in knowledge sharing!

Rita McGrath, Brightline Initiative Principle 6 Module

In my entire career as a Quality Professional, collaboration has been essential in driving successful implementation of various strategic initiatives. Teams have to collaborate in a safe environment. They have to feel that they can disagree with one another, fail at some points, make mistakes and still be equally appreciated for bringing all themselves to the table. Having this environment makes them belief in the project at hand, own its delivery, own its successes and short comings. That I found very apparent in hospitality, retail and retail banking; environments that are customer facing and tend to be extremely busy. A sense of safety and trust makes collaboration flourish if introduced and supported appropriately.

If you want to check the training course, please head to Brightline website and look for the enrol now button: https://www.brightline.org/strategygap/

When you think of cross business collaboration, what initiatives did you experience? Share your thoughts with comments below and lets spread the knowledge. Principle 7 here we come!

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