The Value of Collaboration
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 Paul Clement
Something that I have always tried to do in my time here at ISB Canada is to include team members from different faculties of the company when it comes to proposing, executing and implementing new projects. This is often best practice for all organizations from small start ups to large multination’s companies so this practice will not be new to most of you. Cross departmental involvement is, as most of you know, integral when it comes to the success of a project because different stakeholders can often provide a point of view and insight that others may not have thought of. I believe, however, that there are other benefits to including team members in meetings and project planning. Let me give you an example.
When I began working at ISB Canada as an Inside Sales Associate I had few major responsibilities. My job was to work the phones, send out emails and spread the good word of ISB Canada. Along with addressing customer inquiries I had a few other responsibilities so as you may imagine it quickly became a repetitive job. What I did look forward to and value though, was being included in the sales meetings, event planning meetings and other various gatherings because I had an opportunity to voice my findings, suggest new processes and raise concerns that I uncovered. I always felt more satisfaction from contributing to these group sessions than I ever did working the phones as important as it was at the time.
I think that the sense of inclusion and involvement are direct by-products of this sort of activity and as a result can directly affect the loyalty and morale of a work force especially when working in monotonous conditions. Like they say, variety is the spice of life. This is why I believe holding regular one-on-ones with my team whether in a formal or more casual setting is important. They allow all parties to provide feedback and communication on what they like, think should change or dislike which can directly affect company policies, initiatives and project priorities.
As organizations continue to evolve and become more driven by technology and data, it also becomes harder to tangibly see what our hard work has accomplished. I enjoy the feeling I get when I rake the leaves at my parent’s place. I can see what my labour has accomplished with their yard cleared of debris but I may not see what making sales calls and working on RFP’s all day will have accomplished depending on the sale cycle of the clients. This is another reason why collaboration projects are important because they let your people develop something with a group that people can see come together as a result of a group effort that may directly affect their own work and processes.
Being the small sized company that ISB Canada is, cross departmental sessions are absolutely necessary and they will continue to be as we move into our new fiscal year. With the large number of projects we have on the go I see nothing but opportunity to strengthen our organization on multiple levels.