Collaboration: Constructive or Curse?

 In Blog

The Randy Lane Company’s coaching philosophy is based on collaboration. We believe that people are more likely to incorporate growth points into their practice and shows when we arrive at coaching points together as a team.

We advocate that businesses, radio, and podcast shows practice group brainstorming to come up with and refine ideas, AND we have always stressed the importance of individual brain-parking, journaling, and solo planning to enhance creativity.

It’s been a positive in recent years that the corporate world has moved to more collaboration among management and staff.

But, like everything else, collaboration is most effective when it is kept in balance.

Two recent articles, “Collaboration Overload” from the Harvard Business Review, and “The Collaboration Curse” from The Economist consider the downside of too much collaboration.

There is a link to both articles below, but first, here are some highlights to consider:

“Talking to your colleagues can spark valuable insights. Mixing with people from different departments can be useful. But this hardly justifies forcing people to share large noisy spaces or bombarding them with electronic messages.”

“Many of the most productive knowledge workers go out of their way to avoid meetings and unplug electronic distractions.”

“…managers often feel obliged to be seen to manage: left to their own devices they automatically fill everybody’s days with meetings and memos rather than letting them get on with their work.”

“Show the most active and overburdened helpers how to filter and prioritize requests; give them permission to say no.”

Here are our take-aways:

  • Evaluate the number of meetings you have each week. Are they all necessary?
  • Build time for solitary creativity; silence, writing, mediation, turning off electronic devices and “brain parking” pursuits like exercise and dog walking that allow creative ideas to flow.
  • Utilize software such as, Bascamp, and Slack to set  boundaries and prioritize the flow of incoming emails and notifications.
  • Reward effective and efficient collaboration.

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