Don’t Collaborate?

Most organizations bow down to the value of collaboration. Today, I’m shooting the sacred cow. Collaboration isn’t always useful or necessary. Furthermore, collaboration can be cumbersome and ineffective.


Collaboration is useful when you are:

#1. Dealing with complex issues

#2. Leveraging diversity

#3. Inviting others to buy-in

#4. Dealing with strategic issues

#5. Solving long-term challenges or finding long-term solutions

Collaboration isn’t useful when you are:

#1. Under time constraints

#2. Dealing with issues irrelevant to others

#3. Working with those who don’t have good communication or collaboration skills

#4. Experiencing conflict rooted in divergent values

Collaboration and divergent values:

Conflict rooted in divergent values is a deadly roadblock to creating collaborative environments.

For example, when leadership says our organization values team-work while at the same time rewards and honor are focused on individuals, values are colliding. The mouth says one thing while the pocketbook says another. In this situation, some employees are paralyzed while others embrace the inconsistency and win.

If you’re facing conflict because of clashing value-systems the answer is at the top. Collaboration won’t help you, it only makes matters worse. The only thing that helps is the person/s at the top establishing, exemplifying, and expecting everyone to embrace, core organizational values.


Take your pick – some questions:

What makes collaboration fail?

What makes collaboration succeed?

What are important collaboration skills?

Is collaboration over-valued in the business world?