The ‘collaboration maturity’ of a business is one of the defining characteristic of its immediate and likely future success. But better collaboration isn’t just a mechanism for getting ‘more stuff done for less’. It’s the very essence of how you interact with your people and your customers, which defines how you are viewed from the outside and within. It outlines what your own ‘future of work’ looks like and whether that resonates with those that most matter. It drives the culture of your organisation, your brand magnetism, and whether you can compete in and win the war for talent. It determines how easy it is for you to win new business and how hard it is for others to poach those customer from you.
Your collaboration maturity goes to the very heart of everything that you currently do and aspire to be. You probably haven’t realised this until now though so best pay some attention before you’re the one that gets disrupted while you sleep! To give some this additional context that hopefully resonates, it’s worth noting the impact of a few collaboration ‘mega trends’.
The way in which people want to work is changing. The ability to be productive from anywhere and at any time is greater than it ever has been. Work is becoming a thing that you do not a place that you go to. The desire to support flexible and agile working is becoming mainstream as a consequence. And in many eyes, changing or accelerating the culture of the business towards this new way of working is the key to unlocking a business’s full potential. But unless everyone from the top down of an organisation fully buys into this narrative, it simply won’t happen.
Talent acquisition and retention is a good place to start. So ask yourself this – how should my business compete in and win the war for talent? You want ‘good people’ to want to join and once they’re in, they don’t want to leave. ‘Good people’ are more productive than ‘average people’; hence output proportional to cost moves upwards. Attrition rates drop; hence recruitment costs are lower. Good people drive a better culture. A better culture makes for a better workplace. Happy people tend to be more productive people. They also tend to be ill or absent from work less. Happier, more productive people lead to greater workplace wellbeing which tends to translate to better quality of care and service given to customers. Reduced travel and expenses and better utilisation of office real-estate are a by-product of a change to working culture. They are a natural consequence of the end journey that all started with better collaboration.
So, as a wise man once said, it’s time to ‘stop, collaborate and listen’. And if you haven’t done so already you should seriously consider a Collaboration Maturity Assessment. This will not only confirm exactly where you’re at right now but will define what’s possible in the future and provide a map to get you there.