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How do you promote collaborative leadership?

How do you promote collaborative leadership
How do you promote collaborative leadership?
Collaborative leadership values a range of ideas and opinions. In promoting openness, leaders create an inclusive, transparent workplace with a strong shared sense of purpose and a more cohesive .

Posted in: Collaboration
How do you promote collaborative leadership
How do you promote collaborative leadership?

In this evolving landscape, the question arises: How do you promote collaborative leadership? Let's address the current issues prior to March 2020, the concept of work often revolved around physically gathering in an office space from 9 to 5, where each functional group had its designated area and top executives occupied the top floor. 

Collaboration primarily involved a whiteboard and discussions that tended to be dominated by the most assertive voices. Making decisions typically entailed convening a meeting with the leadership team.

However, in the wake of the pandemic, the work landscape has undergone a significant transformation, with hybrid work arrangements becoming the new standard. 

Globally, approximately 58% of knowledge workers are now engaged in hybrid work setups. While remote collaboration offers numerous advantages, effectively leading remote or hybrid teams while maintaining teamwork, communication, and productivity has proven to be a challenging endeavor.

One noteworthy consequence of this shift is a perceived decline in leadership transparency among employees

Astonishingly, 81% of executives believe that their company's leadership is transparent when it comes to sharing important developments affecting the company. However, only 58% of employees share this sentiment. Even before the pandemic reshaped our work environment, a third of millennials had already anticipated a diminishing relevance of the CEO role in the coming decade. 

This signal indicates that a significant portion of the millennial generation is uncomfortable with traditional top-down leadership structures.

As workforces continue to disperse, an increasing number of companies are discarding hierarchical leadership models. 

These models, which often rewarded physical presence and tenure over agility, flexibility, and command-and-control leadership over collaboration, are being replaced by collaborative leadership models that prioritize transparency and teamwork. 

What is collaborative team leadership?

What is collaborative team leadership

Collaborative team leadership is a management approach designed to break down barriers between managers, executives, and staff, fostering a collective spirit of cooperation. 

In collaborative workplaces, information flows organically, and everyone shares responsibility for the overall success. This stands in stark contrast to traditional top-down organizational structures where a select few executives tightly control the information flow.

According to Harvard Business Review, collaborative leaders actively seek a diversity of opinions and ideas from their team members when crafting strategies and resolving challenges. Consequently, employees become more engaged, develop a sense of trust, and are more inclined to take ownership of their work.

Through the practice of collaborative leadership, managers and executives can cultivate an inclusive atmosphere that sparks team enthusiasm, unleashes creativity, and nurtures a work culture characterized by both productivity and happiness.

How to implement collaboration in remote working set up 

How to implement collaboration in remote working set up

Transitioning away from the command-and-control approach is a significant initial stride, but altering entrenched work practices, particularly for those overseeing remote teams spanning various time zones, demands deliberate effort and careful planning. 

Below, you'll find effective strategies that organizations have employed during their shift towards hybrid workplaces.  

1. Establish Clarity and Purpose

Managers play a crucial role in ensuring clarity within their teams. Here are several strategies to achieve clarity and purpose:

  • Demonstrate to each team member how their efforts align with the organization's overarching objectives.
  • Set clear team norms and agreements to govern collaboration and cooperation. For instance, at Agility Online, we developed a roadmap for the future of work to ensure seamless operations at our Digital HQ.
  • Offer a comprehensive understanding of roles and reporting structures.
  • For team members situated in various time zones, establish clear guidelines regarding working hours and meeting schedules. 

2. Maintain Open Lines of Communication

The advent of remote work has brought forth fresh management and leadership challenges, particularly concerning transparency and the flow of ideas. 

As teams increasingly embrace communication platforms to bridge geographical and temporal gaps, it becomes paramount to establish the right atmosphere within these digital spaces—one that nurtures open, inclusive, and supportive workplace communication. 

An environment of open communication fosters transparency and ensures that all team members feel valued for their contributions, including their knowledge and skills.

In the case of larger teams scattered across multiple time zones, fostering connection may appear more challenging. Square tackles this challenge by utilizing public AgilityPortal channels. 

For instance, there's a dedicated channel called #jackama, where CEO Jack Dorsey addresses his team's inquiries, spanning topics from Square's future direction to global operations. 

Similarly, software company Autodesk maintains a #help channel containing answers to questions frequently referenced by individuals in various roles. 

3. Cultivate Collaborative Abilities

While it may seem abstract, a fundamental aspect of honing collaborative skills within teams involves recognizing that each team member's perspective is unique, yet equally valid. 

When a leader aims to foster collaboration with their employees, they should refrain from using their authority to silence, invalidate, or discourage employees from discussing their individual experiences. Failing to do so can undermine the very essence of partnership within the team.

4. Optimize Time Management

To ensure that both managers and employees embrace collaboration without feeling burdened by additional tasks and time commitments, Lee recommends taking a holistic approach. 

This involves assessing how workflows and processes can be automated, allowing the team to focus on collaborative efforts.

Streamlining processes can be as straightforward as reducing the time spent switching between tasks or eliminating redundant processes. 

For instance, mobile and internet provider Belong streamlined all its processes through AgilityPortal, liberating their engineers from administrative burdens and enabling them to allocate their time more effectively towards value-added activities. 

5. Embrace Vulnerability for Trust and Teamwork

Demonstrating vulnerability may not always come naturally, but it is a crucial element in building trust and fortifying teamwork. 

Research has consistently shown that when managers exhibit openness and vulnerability, their teams are more inclined to exhibit exceptional dedication. 

To foster this quality within your team, consider the following practices:

  1. Share more about yourself, including your feelings and reactions to current events, and encourage your employees to do the same.
  2. Exhibit a genuine interest in team members that extends beyond their professional roles.
  3. Promote open discussions about emotions and interpersonal challenges, fostering an environment where such conversations are comfortable.
  4. Acknowledge both your own emotions and those of your employees.

Effective collaboration necessitates a managerial willingness to set aside personal ego, actively listen to and incorporate others' ideas, and recognize that one's own ideas may not always be the best. 

Managers can encourage this by inviting team members, regardless of their title or seniority, to share their viewpoints, identify issues, and participate in developing solutions. 

Wrapping up

​ In an increasingly digital-centric world, businesses must embrace a shift from hierarchies to a more collaborative approach, particularly within the C-suite. 

As workplaces undergo a transformation from traditional physical offices to digital headquarters, companies should redirect their attention towards leadership methods that are less prescriptive. 

These methods should inspire individuals to embrace new and diverse modes of work and interaction with their peers.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024
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