RSS Collaboration Does Not Equate to Compromise

Quite often, to the detriment of his or her organization, a leader accepts compromise when collaboration fails. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when one’s hands are tied and compromise provides the best course of action; I get that. Too many times, however, when leaders allow themselves or their staff to accept compromise instead of demanding collaboration, key strategic goals and objectives may be sacrificed or minimized.

To my way of thinking, compromise often results in an effort that is less than the sum of multiple capabilities. Worse yet, compromise results in an effort that is less the sum of any single person. On the other hand, collaboration has the potential to produce synergy; which, by definition, produces results which are greater than the sum of the individual capabilities of two or more people, organizations, or things.

Recently, I participated in a leadership development discussion that painted a clear picture of what it takes for any company to achieve organizational greatness. Guess what? It isn’t creating extreme operational efficiencies or achieving results that exceed industry norms. Nor is it simply a matter of developing employee morale and creating a ‘fun place to work.’ My take-away from that meeting is that the most successful organizations achieve real synergy where high effectiveness is balanced by strong affinity.

It is easy to understand that highly efficient and profitable organizations are likely strong at performing tasks. Likewise, those with high affinity are traditionally built upon a foundation of strong accommodation and supportiveness. If you were to chart these two criteria - tasks & accommodation - the point at which the lines intersect at their highest level is called collaboration. It’s important to note this intersection point because many organizations fall short of being truly collaborative. To be collaborative means to work together in the pursuit of a common result, hopefully one that is greater than that generated by any single member of the team. This requires that those focused on either of the extremes must find ways to engage other team members differently. It means that they must find ways to “own” each other’s goals, strategies and timelines.

I believe that many organizations fail to understand the importance of collaboration to both their bottom line and to their organizational culture. Today’s best leaders understand how to bring team members together in a collaborative process that creates synergistic results, where all team members feel they have been heard and each accepts equal ownership of both the process and the outcome.

What do you think? How do you approach collaboration at your workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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One Response to “Collaboration Does Not Equate to Compromise”

  1. Bob Frause says:

    Great blog Mitch. Thanks for bringing these insights to our attention. Laura has shared with our staff. We will discuss this tomorrow in our daily meeting. Bob

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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