First things first, as Stephen Covey, author of the seminal book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, would say, “collaboration is simply the ability of a group to accomplish more by working together than they might achieve by working in silos.” Organisations that fail to create an internal culture of collaboration will always struggle to sincerely and robustly meet the needs of an external customer or supply chain that increasingly thrive on a collaborative working practice.
During a tendering process, many of today’s large infrastructure programmes require bidders to articulate how they intend to develop and maintain a collaborative management approach with the customer throughout the lifetime of the contract. The percentage of a tender score attributed to collaboration can be as high as 25%. If the bid team accepts that an effective collaborative team will result in a positive and stable climate, it makes sense to regularly measure and continuously address gaps within the organisation. It is key to treat any concerns as risks before they become issues and you can use PCS to evidence the bid teams’ methodology.
Ambiguity kills collaborative working. Teams that do not have respect for shared goals, clearly defined roles and unaligned processes never reach high performance. Because we increasingly work in an environment where goals rapidly shift, roles change and processes wither, the necessity to have a team climate that has high degrees of resilience, connection and adaptability is underlined by the need for a collaborative working climate.
To mobilise and evolve a high-performance team we need to benchmark and continuously measure progress and barriers. Team performance, the biggest risk and last sustainable competitive advantage, is normally the only area in business we neglect to measure and develop because it has been too hard to. Or, it used to be.
How PCS can be beneficial for creating a collaborative climate:
Understanding team dynamics, using the six PCS segments, enables you to formally measure climate and can serve as a baseline allowing for early gaps to be identified within team collaboration. These gaps can be closed by developing plans suited to the teams via organic development or external facilitation. It is recommended to remeasure a team’s climate at least every six months for a static team and more frequently for a team that is rapidly expanding or contracting.
While using the tool, a high score in each segment and a balance across all six will represent a high climate score. The model breaks down each segment into three component focus areas with data available to analyse at individual question-level – 54 in total. Additionally, the team’s score is compared to that of the leader to ensure alignment.
Developing high performing teams, takes time, investment and an understanding of the corporate objectives you are trying to reach, it is ever evolving with your business and the world around it. The introduction of a scientific and rigorous process will reduce the risk of non-performance and aid team collaboration.
About the writers:
Paul Fox has worked as a Construction Industry Executive Coach for the last 20 years. He remains at the forefront of thought leadership on relationship management and collaboration, working with individuals, projects and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle. Chris Milliner is a Director at PCS, with over 25 years of Team Management and Change Consulting experience. To find out more about PCS and its ability to empower teams and leadership professionals to improve performance, visit https://www.performanceclimatesystem.com or follow on Twitter @perfclimatesys. To find out more about Paul visit http://www.constructivecoaching.com or follow on Twitter @fox_paul