Teams collaborate better than individuals on a wide range of problem-solving for two reason:
- People are exposed to points of view different from their own. If the arguments are good enough, people can change their mind to adopt better beliefs. This requires structure, such as “Yes…but…and“
- The back-and-forth of a conversation allows people to address counterarguments, and thus to refine their arguments, making it more likely that the best argument carries the day.
Both of these work to reduce bias and subjectivity.
There are a few principles to make this team collaboration work.
- Clear purpose: What is the reason for the collaboration? What’s the business case or business need? Without alignment on the purpose and its underlying importance to the organization, the collaboration will fail. The scope will start to change, or other priorities will take precedence.
- Clear process: How will the collaboration take place? What are the steps? What is the timing? Who is responsible for what?
- Clear expectations: What is the specific goal or outcome we are striving for through this collaboration?
- Clear support: Problems will arise that the team cannot handle on their own. In those cases, what is the escalation process, including who and when?
Ensure these are in your team ground rules, measure success and perform continuous improvement.
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