With all the talk of productivity, collaboration, efficiency tools, it’s easy to overlook the things sitting right in front of you. It can be easy to forget that despite all the tech talk about collaboration, it all boils down to how well your team interacts. So stop searching for a tool and start taking advantage of your most overlooked asset: your team.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
In today’s high speed business environment, it’s incredibly easy to become fixated on the next big thing. Whether it’s adopting a new technology, management strategy or something else, before you realize it, you’re throwing good money in after bad and wondering why you’re not seeing results.
When it comes to collaboration, often times it’s easy to get swept up in adopting the newest technology in the hopes that it will increase collaboration. This is something that my dad would refer to as “magical thinking”. Sure empowering your team with the tools may make collaboration easier, but it will not get your team to go from 1st to 6th gear. To achieve that top level of performance, well that has to come from your team.
Your Most Overlooked Asset
It’s so easy to overlook the people sitting right in front of you. No matter how much work has changed, one thing still remains: it is and always will be a human activity. Work will always require individuals to collaborate on projects, outline goals, and devise strategy. While I have no doubt that collaboration tools help teams accomplish tasks, if you fail to stop and focus on your team dynamic you will never achieve your true potential. So instead of spending time shopping for the next revolutionary tool, it’s worth it to look inward. How well is your team performing? Is there enough communication? What processes can be improved? Do we need to spice things up with a little diversity? These are all important questions that are worth reflection.
In need of a little kick start? No problem, below are several tips to help you get the most out of your most overlooked asset.
- Transparency – It’s important that your team members understand not only their role, but how it fits into the larger picture. Increasing transparency is not an easy thing, increasing transparency means increasing communication and accountability – something that will take time for employees to get adjusted to.
- Over Communicate – How well is your team communicating? Communication is critical, and the more you communicate the more transparent your team will become – what they say is true; the two really do go hand in hand. I’ve seen this happen countless times, in the absence of communications people make stuff up – which usually has a larger negative effect than bad news. So, a good rule of thumb to follow is when in doubt, over communicate.
- Be Decisive –If you have an excellent idea but fail to execute, you might as well forget about it. Sometimes it’s better to get out there, try an idea and learn from it than waste time deciding if it’s the best idea.
- Practice what you Preach – The very same lesson our parents used to teach. It’s important for leaders to embrace and practice the very same principles that they want to see in their teams. Just as many great historical leaders, leading by example is always a great way to make sure it gets adopted.
Next time you find yourself thinking about acquiring a new tool to help with collaboration, take a minute and ask yourself: are you overlooking your most valuable asset?