Robert Donaldson Discusses The Energy of Collaborative Cultures and Its Impacts on Organizations

Robert Donaldson, the famend change skilled is the writer of the hot-selling ebook ‘Collaborative Energy Seize.’ The acclaimed speaker has a diversified business profession that spans over 40 years and establishes him as a thought chief. His organizational philosophy includes constructing groups and selling collaboration throughout the workspace to realize particular person and organizational objectives.

Collaborative Power Grab by Robert Donaldson

Robert is a robust believer in collaboration and has been freely giving his data nearly freely. Over time, he has hosted quite a few worker empowerment and management coaching periods at a number of skilled venues. Now, he’s serving to organizations construct a collaborative tradition to achieve their full progress potential.

Just lately, we received up shut and private with Robert to select his mind about collaborative tradition.

What’s a Collaborative Tradition and What Collaboration Means in Workplaces?

Robert Donaldson: Extremely collaborative workplaces change into that means as a result of they’re deliberately designed to create a office of shared values. The shared values are then promoted by leader-managers who equally prioritize collaboration abilities proper together with the technical talent units. The shared values are then promulgated by turning everybody into an skilled, lowering concern by advancing inclusion, sharing management with people who have confirmed themselves to deal with the duties and enhancing transparency to advertise a standard good. This takes rather a lot much less work than you assume it does.

The important thing right here is that every one human brains use the identical fundamental working construction and while you create an setting of shared values the long-embedded tendency for people to collaborate with one another will present up within the deliberately designed office of shared values.

Collaboration within the office means a predictable and constant tradition, extremely efficient interpersonal relationships are a transparent expectation supported by coaching, distinctive problem-solving coaching, glorious innovation that promotes productiveness and a extremely supportive work setting that commonly and precisely acknowledges good efficiency.

Within the collaborative work tradition awful leaders can’t survive very lengthy and on the identical time the correct folks floor their means into management. All people within the group is vital with the huge mainstream of the office inhabitants now energized to contribute to Mission success.

How Would You Describe a Wholesome Collaborative Tradition?

Robert Donaldson: A wholesome collaborative tradition is the place staff work in direction of their particular person progress whereas additionally collaborating with their crew that permits their experience to present again to the group. It’s form of a win-win state of affairs for each employees and the group. Staff talk continuously, switch data freely, and share their concepts for the betterment of the group.

A wholesome collaborative tradition is singularly targeted on mission success, nonetheless solely doing so utilizing a dependable, expert-driven, collective strategy which maximizes the chance for the group to efficiently leverage long-term methods.

Unhealthy cultures, however, may additionally concentrate on mission success however they’ll as a substitute pursue that goal on the expense of the group tradition. The unhealthy tradition is totally blind because it helps its long-term objectives with using faulty brief sighted methods that really undermine the exact same objectives they’re making an attempt to realize.

It might be humorous if it wasn’t so tragic, with so many group members getting damage alongside the best way. Additionally damage are the stakeholders not getting what they had been promised from the group whether or not that be clients, shareholders or taxpayers.

Collaborative culture

Why is a Collaborative Tradition Vital? What are its Advantages for an Group?

Robert Donaldson: Undoubtedly, the most important good thing about a collaborative tradition is creating mission success for the group whereas concurrently growing the job satisfaction in your greatest expertise. Further advantages embody growing productiveness based mostly on the innovation promoted by group members. When you’ve gotten a collaborative tradition, your crew works collectively by utilizing a scientific course of to resolve issues.

Sharing data, ensuring work is prioritized in accordance with the mission (even throughout inner silos) and growing new methods of doing issues that saves money and time offering collective knowledge that proves to be many occasions extra aggressive when coping with the choice of non-collaborative work cultures.

Over time, every particular person within the group will get the rightful impression that they’re a part of one thing bigger than themselves whereas the leader-managers concurrently implement the most efficient concepts for enchancment with the intention to keep away from mission failure.

So as a substitute of following any strategy blindly, the leader-managers get to weigh the professionals and cons of their enterprise processes. The consequence: organizational progress climbs assembly all mission associated metrics whereas concurrently attracting and conserving the very best expertise.

What are Some Key Components of Collaboration?

Robert Donaldson: Collaboration comprehensively covers eight completely different efficiency classes: Mission, Tradition, Efficient Interpersonal Relationships, Excessive-quality Communication, Technical Competency, Productiveness, Downside-Fixing, and Steady Enchancment.

By coaching leader-managers to make use of very efficient behaviors the followers within the group usually tend to display interactive communication, shared accountability, mutual belief, and unbiased mission middle choice making. By giving leader-managers particular behaviors that encourage group members to display collaboration whereas concurrently lowering poisonous behaviors within the group, concern technology drops which ends up in growing rational, logical and moral choice making on everybody’s half.

Apart from the ethical imperatives of rational, logical and moral choice making it additionally simply so occurs to extend group mission success for leader-managers and job satisfaction for followers all on the identical time.

Lastly, if management is making a collaborative precedence which distributes energy to solely essentially the most collaborative present and future leaders and creating specialists throughout the total common inhabitants, leader-managers can now delegate their administration duties downward into the group leaving extra time for management duties. With extra time to steer, chief managers can defend the tradition for the aim of making mission success and job satisfaction on the identical time.

I do know I’m utilizing the comparability of the parallel inter-dependent success actions of mission success and job satisfaction fairly a bit, I hope my level is getting throughout.

Startup team collaboration

How Do You Create a Collaborative Tradition within the Office?

Robert Donaldson:

1. Create a Collaborative Precedence

In collaborative teams the precise act of collaboration sits equally vital as every particular person’s technical abilities. Previously (and nonetheless at this time in most teams) good technical abilities is the first technique by which the brand new leader-manager advances up from the employee pool. That is powerfully important: while you rent an individual to be a leader-manager who has the mixed talent units of collaboration together with technical talent units it makes for an unbeatable mixture.

By inserting the next precedence on collaboration as a way by which an individual advances within the group it begins to marginalize individuals who don’t worth collaboration. By prioritizing collaborative behaviors, the leader-managers scale back the quantity of concern current within the group by advancing inclusion, delegating management and enhancing openness. When the leader-managers do that: group members transfer away from a flight, combat and freeze office psychological toolbox and now change it with a rational, logical and moral office psychological toolbox.

By making a collaborative precedence, you entice and maintain the very best expertise, whereas others who solely wish to focus on their private agendas, merely go away.

Take away: Given sufficient time all you’re left with is a bunch of people that simply wish to collaborate. Think about that.

2. Create Specialists

In a collaborative setting leader-managers wish to improve mission-centered unbiased decision-making on the a part of every member which then ends in excessive ranges of Job Satisfaction and large Mission Centered productiveness all on the identical time. Coaching is designed to create an skilled degree of information for every particular person’s talent set, whether or not its technical abilities or problem-solving abilities or collaboration abilities.

Extremely collaborative teams consider that the world is actually undertrained, and so they resolve that difficulty by inserting a rare quantity of effort into coaching. When persons are skilled to skilled ranges, they make higher selections which reduces the direct supervision burden on the a part of the management whereas additionally permitting group members to be very happy efficient autonomous choice makers. It feels good to have the autonomy to make selections and have the talent essential to make the correct selections.

Empowerment via coaching to skilled ranges after which delegating administration duties to newly developed specialists enable leaders-managers to handle much less and lead extra.

Take away: By creating specialists, as a substitute of watching the bumper vehicles colliding on the county truthful everyone within the group is now a Method One race machine: elegant, purposeful and impressed.

3. Lead Extra Handle Much less

Dovetailing off of some great benefits of Making a Collabortive Precedence and Creating Specialists, leader-managers are capable of handle much less which then provides them extra time to steer.

Whenever you prioritize collaboration and couple that with creating specialists within the group the issues that used to point out up in your desk cease arriving. In teams that wouldn’t have a collaborative ethos we frequently discover that the leader- supervisor has to extend direct supervision with the crew beneath them with the intention to make sure the outputs their crew is creating, is assembly the necessities of senior administration. Whenever you take easy steps to extend the experience of the group members beneath the leader-manager after which delegate extra administration duties to your new specialists, the period of time spent on direct supervision drops considerably permitting the leader-manager to steer extra and handle much less.

When leader-managers are too busy managing and so they’re not main it’s a ship with out a rudder. As this rudderless ship is bouncing round all of your excessive performers hit the entrance door and by no means come again. As your greatest performers go away, the quantity of direct supervision to get Mission centered output from the underperforming crew causes direct supervision to climb radically.

That’s dangerous information for everyone concerned.

Take away: I don’t care how happy you may really feel if you are busy performing your administration duties. Your new specialists will handle your duties simply fantastic with the correct coaching and mentoring. So now you will get on the market and lead, now.

Collaborative minds
photograph credit score: Novartis AG / Flickr


When leader-managers prioritize collaboration, it permits for folks transfer away from combat, flight and freeze and in direction of logical, rational and moral approaches. By marginalizing private agendas group members begin to understand one thing that’s deeply satisfying for each human: they’re a part of one thing bigger than themselves.

When leader-managers empower every group member to skilled ranges with excessive ranges of coaching these specialists are actually extra autonomous and are making mission centered unbiased selections inflicting their job satisfaction ranges to skyrocket proper together with their efficiency. The mixed improve of particular person efficiency then has a dramatically optimistic affect on mission success.

When leader-managers scale back the huge quantity of direct supervision they spend on their administration duties and now lead extra, group efficiency explodes on the scene like by no means earlier than.

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