Creating a Culture of Collaboration


In my experience as a consultant for Teams and Executives as well as in organizational development, I have come to the conclusion that without attention to effective collaboration the goals and results of organizations fall short.

Many times senior leaders and chief executives tell me that they are frustrated at the percentage of strategic plans that are actually implemented.

Perhaps these scenarios may be familiar to you:

  • The executive leadership team meets irregularly and when they do the communication goes from the CEO or President to the members with little push back or creative ideas.  Often there is a sense that some do not agree or have an idea but do not express it fully.  In addition there may be a challenge in one of the businesses that peers might be able to assist with but it is not expressed for fear of looking bad.

After the meeting there are small meetings in the hall or in other offices with whispered    discussions of real feelings that never get communicated to everyone.

Real collaboration is not taking place and the implementation of initiatives proceeds irregularly and often runs into unexpected difficulty with everyone knowing a part of the problem but no overview with solutions created to move forward.

  • A new addition has been made to the unit, business or organization in terms of service or production.  New employees are entering the system and current employees are fearful and somewhat confused about the new focus.  Communication is at a premium because so much time and focus is on the new structure and organization.

It is clear that the focus is expanding and that new skills and relationship connections will be necessary, so there is a need for specific kinds of communication, new accountability processes and new solutions to problems.

There is a need to focus and create clear implementation time for communication, planning, and inclusion with the ability to surface challenges that might sabotage efforts.


  • Technical design team and implementation team not getting work out and not communicating about differences in opinion about practicality of designs and construction.

There is much behind the scenes complaining with no solution focus.  Designs are altered during construction which upsets the design team and creates animosity and poor communication.  Time and money are lost in changes during the implementation process with all members feeling undervalued and angry.  Responsibility in the form of blaming is the major focus.