Did You Learn About Collaboration?
For most of my career and probably yours, we have been involved in collaboration and collaborating with other people.
Although I never remembered having any formal collaboration training and development.
Since the first publication of BS 11000 (2012) and now superseded by ISO 44001 (2017) Collaborative business relationship management systems – Requirements and framework, provides a systematic approach to facilitate collaboration training and development, in what must be a key business activity for any organisation.
I have to admit, what I now know about collaboration, previously I probably would have called it communication. The two are different although collaboration cannot happen without communication.
When communication is just coming from one direction, this certainly is not collaboration. This became very obvious to me when working on various projects. There have been projects – mostly capital construction projects where I have seen one way direction of communication – “do what I say/what I want”.
The results were not great – for everyone! Why?
It was an adversarial, confrontational and transactional relationship and became a Win- Lose and even a Lose – Lose situation.
There are several reasons for this, which I won’t go into today but the fact that a project is about people working together to deliver an agreed outcome is what collaboration is all about. Communication is just part of this.
The other key memory I have was a project dispute and looking back, the time and money that was wasted was down to poor collaboration. There was lots of communication (mostly negative) but not enough of the other key elements that enable collaboration.
Collaboration – key parts
So what are the other parts of collaboration? Well staying with our project as an example here are some key activities that need to happen, for “proactive collaboration” to occur successfully.
- Communication– as I have just mentioned above, this is a key element and includes different types of communication between people whether is is creating new ideas, innovations, to reviewing and discussing various scenarios; finding out about information and its meaning to reviewing and considering what people have said in groups and feeding back your thoughts and comments – constructively I hope.
- “Contracts” – we are continually agreeing on what we will do, making decisions either verbally or written on how we will behave and work together. As people collaborate more together and get to know one another these “contracts” are not even spoken, let alone written and becomes the de facto way of doing the work.
- Action – for people to work together successfully there needs to be action. We can talk about it, we can have a contract but if no action is taken, then nothing happens
- Results – if we take action there has to be an agreed result/outcome that we all want to make happen. Whether if is to build a new building, upgrade an existing IT system to developing and delivering a new product to market. The result is the change that we are working together to try and achieve.
There are various types of collaborations. However, from my experience when you engage together with other people to co create ideas and solutions, in an open and transparent communicative way, working as high performing teams with an agreed common goal the energy from this sort of collaboration can be quite exhilarating and mutually rewarding for all parties involved.
I am sure we have all seen ways in which this can be done and hopefully you will have experienced this sort of proactive collaboration at sometime in your career.
But how can you achieve and maintain this high energy, proactive collaboration? Especially if you have to work with different people, partners and organisations in different parts of the world.
ISO 44001 Collaboration Training
Collaboration is part of the many existing business processes and activities that you undertake during your normal working day, no matter what sector or industry you work in – private or public.
So how can you facilitate a high energy, proactive collaboration across your business and with your business partners, suppliers and customers?
Having an objective, independent and internationally recognised framework to work from can be a good starting point. Getting to understand what collaborative relationships are about, why they are good, how you can achieve them with other people as well as identify potential opportunities that are profitable for you, your customers and your partners.
ISO 44001 collaboration management systems is a framework specification that can help you discover the requirements to establish and improve both exiting and new collaborative relationships to ensure they are effective, optimised and deliver mutual benefits to everyone involved.
What is ISO 44001?
ISO 440001 is a framework specification that you can use, adapt and integrate into your current management systems. It also provides the principles of collaboration and helps you to understand what does collaboration mean.
- Collaboration – without context is just an aspiration
- Collaborative– without setting expectations is wishful thinking
- Collaborative behaviour – without definition provides no means of reality
- Collaborative working – without rules of engagement is chaos
Well if you would like to find out more click the following link collaboration to read more about different types of collaboration, get an overview of ISO 44001 and you can complete a collaboration gap analysis at the same time.
If you are still hungry for more just contact me below from one of the options to discover more about ISO 44001 collaboration, visual collaboration solutions/apps and training to see how you can improve your collaborative working, business relationships and profits.