Bringing together the skill sets, understanding and innovation of your team is important to find the best solutions to situations your business or clients are facing. Issues arise, however, when unexpected circumstances occur and you can’t collaborate the way you always have.
Suddenly finding that key members of your team need to work from home or that remote workers need to be part of the team is something you should have planned for in advance. Having a well-established collaboration strategy that’s fully adaptable will allow a seamless transition and prove there’s no need for business disruption.
Adaptability was identified as the most desirable skill of 2019 and research by LinkedIn put it among the top for important attributes for 2020. The events of the year are likely to have moved it up the ranks further, as businesses have been forced to adapt to entirely unprecedented situations.
1. Siloed teams mean wasted resources
Organizations need to have the infrastructure in place to encourage employees to share ideas and work with colleagues outside of their personal team. A lack of interaction outside of their silo can lead to talent and resources being wasted, which is bad news for both your company and the clients that could benefit from a more collaborative approach.
2. Customers can fall into the gaps between silos
Departments that don’t have communications systems that can adapt to unusual circumstances may find customers fall into the gaps. This means they’re likely to experience a lack of continuity in their dealings with your organization and get the impression their business is unimportant to you. Instead of trying to resolve issues afterwards, it’s best to avoid such a situation and ensure disparate teams can collaborate successfully.
3. Negatively impacting on employees’ wellbeing
Not having a strategy in place to ensure effective collaboration as a situation evolves can have a negative impact on the wellbeing of employees. Suddenly having to work remotely due to a situation outside of their control can be stressful. Not putting systems into place that will facilitate their efforts to continue to be an important part of the team will add to their insecurities and cause unnecessary worry and chaotic working practices.
4. An inability to adapt to changing circumstances
It doesn’t matter what the change in circumstances is - if your business isn’t used to working in an agile way it won’t be able to adapt easily. This can result in opportunities passing you by and limitations being put on growth, causing your organization to stagnate. An effective adaptable collaboration strategy should mean unforeseen situations have minimal impact on the running of your company.
5. Hindering experimentation, innovation and idea generation
Businesses should do whatever they can to ensure there are no barriers to the ideas that will drive them forward. That means experimentation, innovation and brainstorming should be priorities and the way in which processes are carried out constantly reviewed and optimized. Consistently completing processes by following identical steps each time will result in similar outcomes, thus squashing innovation.
6. Missing out on the benefits of small changes
Sometimes a company requires a huge change in a small amount of time, such as the majority of employees switching to remote working. On other occasions, it’s small changes that build up over time to change the DNA of an organization and create a better working culture. Businesses that are resistant to the small steps will find it’s much harder to change things in the long-run and will miss out on a natural form of evolution that often produces a more intuitive way of working.
7. Overlooking individuals’ preferred ways of working
An inability to be adaptable can lead to the loss of talent, as many creative members of a team will understand how they work best. If they have to fit into a rigid process, they’re more likely to be frustrated and become aware that they’re being prevented from producing their best work. Adapt to meet staff needs and encourage them to influence collaboration practices to ensure the best outcomes for everyone involved. You’ll also find you’re more likely to retain top talent, as they feel like they’re fulfilling their potential and have a say in the way the organization operates.