Sunday, May 28th, 2017

C-SUITE COLLABORATION

I know that collaboration is a touted skill for leaders heading to the year 2020. I’m not sure that we know what we are talking about yet.

I’ve known CEO’s who are mistaken for being collaborative because they are actually egalitarian. They hang out easily with all levels of the company. They are nice. They care. They ‘look’ collaborative.
Many other CEO’s honestly, with no arrogance, are sure they know what is needed from strategy to execution. They don’t collaborate. They create ‘ buy-in’ and are very skilled (if not manipulative) at getting it. OK, I guess, if their percentage of ‘right’ is right. The hardest thing to watch is a ‘command and control’ leader trying to be collaborative because she knows it is the right thing to do and it fits with her values as well. But habit wins again and again and the organization gets whipped going from loose to tight to landing in chaos.

I’m not sure we are using the right word when we say’ collaborative’. It’s less trendy to say,  but I think we may be talking about  coordination. That’s what the literature looks like–synchronizing, aligning, helping relationships to work better–that sort of thing.

Let’s see about you as a top leader:

l. Do you structure your Board Meetings to be a think tank or an approval for plans already made?

2.How many groups inside and out of your company do you “think with” about common issues?

3.Do you dread meetings without a tight control or focus?

4.Would you trust your team (not an individual leader0 to run the company without your guidance?

5.Are you in touch enough to know when to step in and reorient a team or project or initiative?

6.Does not knowing make you tighten up or open up?

7.Does your team hit one another hard with ideas and opinions and leave the conversation laughing??

I think you can see my bias.
Collaboration is thinking together to create and move a project to a just right resolution.  And here is the kicker.  Collaboration without losing the power of the individual is the key at the C-Suite level.
I designed and ran a Leadership College for high-potential talent, from different companies and culture
They had to produce and meet a mandate over a set period of time. The EC was their customer.
The participants learned much about working at top executive level. One surprising by-product was how the leaders gave up their individual power in order to collaborate. They gave in on decisions.They avoided conflict. They settled for a not so great product. They lost their leadership footing and voice.
This is how collaboration gets a bad name. It tends to be cosmetic or weak.
Thanks to the demand for high performance and some good coaching, the group grew into full power. They fought well. They met deadlines. They challenged one another for a quality product.
They defined their individual contribution. They gave up and gave in for the sake of the project, not out of coercion or protecting their career.

What is needed is high level collaboration by C-Suite peers who do not dumb down in order
work together. That is collaboration. That is power.

Like Salesforce.com’s managers and employees, businesspeople today are working more collaboratively than ever before, not just inside companies but also with suppliers, customers, governments, and universities. Global virtual teams are the norm, not the exception. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, videoconferencing, and a host of other technologies have put connectivity on steroids and enabled new forms of collaboration that would have been impossible a short while ago.

joining and leaving over and over again

Research has consistently shown that diverse teams produce better results, provided they are well led. The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, disciplines, cultures, and generations and leverage all they have to offer, therefore, is a must-have for leaders

Part of the problem is that many leadership teams, composed of the CEO and his or her direct reports, actually don’t operate as teams. Each member runs his or her own region, function, or product or service category, without much responsibility—or incentive—for aligning the organization’s various projects and operations into a coherent whole.

Part of the problem is that many leadership teams, composed of the CEO and his or her direct reports, actually don’t operate as teams. Each member runs his or her own region, function, or product or service category, without much responsibility—or incentive—for aligning the organization’s various projects and operations into a coherent whole.

The organization of the different elements of       to enable them to work together effectively  cooperative efforts that creat effective relationships    the ability to use different parts of an entity smoothly and effectively

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