Following with the previous article on the same issue, a key success factor for building a culture of collaboration is to have collaborative leaders. These leaders ask for the others’ opinions, make them feel empowered, encourage contribution, are capable of managing egos, care about keeping high trust levels, and share credit with all contributors. These leaders also have strong skills in many areas:
- Mission & goal orientation: defining and communicating the mission and common goals aligns all stakeholders in the right direction, reducing friction between functional teams.
- Connectors: connecting the core group of stakeholders to other outsider agents expands the network of potential collaborators and opens their mind to new ideas and opportunities.
- Information sharing: leaders should share their knowledge to guide their peers in taking leadership roles by teaching and mentoring them into the collaborative leadership culture.
- Fostering understanding: so long as collaborative success depends on trust, leaders have to show understanding of their partners’ goals in order to bring their goals into alignment.
- Talent attraction: recruiting and mixing people from diverse backgrounds and origins has been proved to generate great results in terms of innovation, so long as they are well led.
- Collaborative role modelling: walking their talk and setting the right indicators and incentives, top leaders are those who ultimately create the corporate culture.
- Empower other leaders: leaders should feel comfortable with letting others take their role when appropriate, so as to let them take ownership and thus increase their commitment.
- Strong hand: showing a strong hand to set direction and leap forward when progression is stuck in the search for consensus or lack of prioritization.
- Enterprise perspective: having a sound understanding of the overall corporate strategy and how the joint work they are leading aligns with that strategy.
- Cross-functional perspective: understanding the needs, goals, indicators and incentives of the different areas, so as to align competing priorities within the operating model.
- Customer perspective: beyond knowing the customers’ needs and motivations, managing to keep the team focused in enhancing the overall customer experience.
- Self-management: being patient and exhibiting self-control when challenged, without taking disagreements personally.
- Good listeners: managing to listen objectively and respectfully to many opinions, and empathizing with peers with different perspective.
- Matrix influence: communicating effectively with different stakeholders and gaining their support on collaborative projects.
When looking for collaborative leaders, organizations should evaluate the following capabilities:
- Attaining results by influencing rather than directing
- Sharing ownership of the achievements, sharing also credit and rewards
- Delegating roles and letting others deliver results
- Motivating groups whose members do not share the same viewpoints
- Making and implementing decisions in a collaborative way
- Getting results without having direct control over people or resources
This article is from the Whitepaper “Building a culture of collaboration and innovation” written by Jordi Pera, Founder and CEO at Envisioning Tourism 3.0 Ltd. You may download for free the full Whitepaper at www.envisioningtourism.com/whitepapers