Four Traits of Collaborative Leaders ... successful collaboration requires leadership. This excerpt from a book by Cisco executives Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese explains the key behaviors that leaders must exhibit to support and enhance collaboration. Every leader looking to unpack the riddle of collaboration and chart a sure path forward should read it. The Collaboration Imperative TCI _8c0311a2-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 Zachary Tumin and William Bratton, coauthors of Collaborate or Perish! Reaching across Boundaries in a Networked World, introduce an excerpt about how managers can become collaboration catalysts from The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential, by Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese. Zachary Tumin Coauthor of Collaborate or Perish! Reaching across Boundaries in a Networked World William Bratton Coauthor of Collaborate or Perish! Reaching across Boundaries in a Networked World Ron Ricci Coauthor of The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential Carl Wiese Coauthor of The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential Executives Leaders ... an accountability system that includes rewards and incentives for working together effectively. _8c031c88-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 [To help] managers become collaboration catalysts _8c031de6-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 Collaboration Communication Transparency Agility Resiliency Accountability Collaborative Leadership The fundamental enablers of collaborative leadership are viewing resources as instruments of action rather than as possessions and aligning your company’s larger shared goals to an accountability system that includes rewards and incentives for working together effectively. Leadership Focus on authentic leadership and eschew passive aggressiveness. _8c031e72-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 1 For collaboration to succeed, leaders need to be authentic. Cisco studied which characteristics of leaders on collaborative teams are most important, and we found that the most critical attribute was a leader’s willingness to follow through on commitments. This involves two elements. Follow-Through Follow through on organizational commitments. _8c031f08-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 1.1 First, as a leader of a team, department or business unit with people, budgets and resources under your control, you must follow through on organizational commitments. Unfortunately, people don’t always do what they promise. Passive aggressiveness is a subtle, nuanced form of human behavior in which people find ways to undermine others. They often give tacit agreement in a meeting, for example, but then proceed to take counterproductive action once the meeting is over. Or they might agree to help another team, but then are slow to follow through or put an under-performer on the assignment. Think of how much organizational inertia is created because leaders don’t always do what they say they will do. 7fb91d7d-5dba-4f45-86ef-5df629a23026 Communication Focus on communicating what drives your decision making. _8c031f9e-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 1.2 Second, when there is disagreement about a decision — one made by you or someone else — fight the instinct to make it personal. Ultimately, most disagreements are not personal in nature, but rather result from differing approaches to making a decision. The more you focus on communicating what drives your decision making, the more time you can spend making good decisions instead of arguing a choice with a peer. This leads us to the next leadership trait. 6bb7daf1-e389-41a7-b568-9a9f66d5845e Transparency Relentlessly pursue transparent decision making. _8c032034-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 2 Decisions are always about making choices; it’s critical that you are clear about how you make them. Style & Thought Process Tell people your style and thought process for navigating tricky, or even every day, decisions. _8c0320fc-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 2.1 In our experience, and this is backed up by research, there’s a direct relationship between the agility and resilience of a team and the transparency of its decision-making processes. When you’re open and transparent about the answers to three questions — who made the decision, who is accountable for the outcomes of the decision, and is that accountability real — people in organizations spend far less time questioning how or why a decision was made. Think of how much time is wasted ferreting out details when a decision is made and communicated because the people who are affected don’t know who made the decision or who is accountable for its consequences. … As a leader, your responsibility is to document the key decision paths of your organization and communicate them to your team as often as you can. There was a time in business when hoarding information was a source of organizational power. Today, the inverse is true if you want to motivate a team that is increasingly mobile, global and socially driven. 3b6fc93d-eb2a-4c11-b3ef-78a93b8d814b Guiding Principles Explain the guiding principles of your decision-making style at each stage of your organization’s decision paths. _8c032192-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 2.2 Share your biases and tell war stories of how your successes and failures shaped these biases. We often hear the phrase “intelligent risk taking” — nothing empowers people to take good risks more than understanding the conditions for taking the risk in the first place. Transparent decision making is critical to empowering your people. 0e5c29d0-e357-4727-a597-ac2868d1130f Resources View resources as instruments of action, not as possessions. _8c032232-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 3 The promise of flexibility and agility as an organization, inspired by establishing shared goals across organizational boundaries, is only attainable if you back it up by sharing resources as well. It’s hardly a new observation that people sometimes stockpile resources around their business unit or department, or are slow — perhaps even hesitant — to share those resources with other departments. There might even be incentives in place that discourage sharing. For as long as companies have pursued profits, the size of one’s organization has defined the size of one’s financial opportunity. Market Opportunities Unlock trapped resources to apply as optimally as possible to your market opportunities in a way that best serves the total business. _8c0322dc-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 3.1 But are your resources truly applied as optimally as possible to your market opportunities in a way that best serves the total business? By unlocking these trapped resources, organizations can more quickly and successfully pursue emerging market opportunities. 5074aad3-fe73-4063-8d0b-3a0266f9eeea Approach & Communication [Institute] a common approach to assess and communicate resource decisions. _8c032390-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 3.2 Having a common approach to assess and communicate resource decisions is critical to creating a transparent environment among leaders. The more transparent the environment, the more willing leaders will be to share resources in support of the shared goals of the entire business, and the harder it will be for resisters to hoard them. This shift in approach is not an easy one for leaders to make and requires a balancing act between clear expectations, patience and follow through. Ultimately, it’s as much a mindset as it is a process. The fundamental enablers of collaborative leadership are viewing resources as instruments of action rather than as possessions and aligning your company’s larger shared goals to an accountability system that includes rewards and incentives for working together effectively. bfb261ff-a594-4d50-bb38-0f1300e72e83 Rights, Accountability & Rewards Codify the relationship between decision rights, accountability and rewards. _8c032444-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 4 Modeling the desired collaborative behaviors — showing your employees that you walk the talk — is the goal. But what happens when you’re not around? The more these behaviors are codified into an end-to-end system across your organization, the greater the odds of collaboration succeeding when you’re not there to reinforce cultural norms. Parameters Establish clear parameters for decision making and funding. _8c0324da-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 4.1 As you define the decision paths of your organization and build a common vocabulary to make those decision paths as transparent as possible, take the time to establish clear parameters. Who gets to make decisions? Are all decisions tied to funding? These are the types of questions to which everyone must know the answers. 5a37db57-a6b7-44f2-bdc9-79ce5dc7aa5d Publication Publish the parameters for these decision rights and tell people which leaders have these rights. _8c032584-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 4.2 Publish the parameters for these decision rights and tell people which leaders have these rights — that information is crucial to breaking through any consensus logjam ... d7c72e92-2d8d-4d75-acd4-d96b9c31139e Voting [Give] decision-rights holders 51 percent of the vote when collaborative teams can’t reach natural agreement. _8c032624-fa93-11e1-a394-14eefc3ce609 4.3 Decision-Rights Holders Collaborative Teams ... decision-rights holders should have 51 percent of the vote when collaborative teams can’t reach natural agreement. b99bc2d8-733a-4db1-a6ef-c89c700f6b56 2012-09-09 http://www.strategy-business.com/article/ac00040?pg=1 Owen Ambur Owen.Ambur@verizon.net Submit error.