Like most organizations, the team at ORG has a diverse collection of experience, ideas, and thoughts. All powerful and necessary for organizations to thrive, but present challenges if it’s not managed well. The secret is to bring everyone together in a unified way. Collaboration is a core practice that touches everything we do.
It’s easy enough to recognize the need for collaboration, but successfully putting this into practice might seem daunting. Organizations we work with often come to us with one big question: “How?”
As companies grow, their processes, people, culture, finances, debts, and organization charts grow too. Sometimes these factors fail to mesh and performance suffers. Organizations often try to address this by attempting to increase employee engagement. Engagement has become a buzzword, and has proven to be elusive for many because they haven’t seen the full picture. For example, a typical engagement tactic might be sending out employee engagement surveys. Ironically, this attempt to connect with employees is often done via an impersonal email, which does little to foster true engagement.
Ultimately, companies want to drive performance. But if they become overly distracted by engagement efforts, they run the risk of stagnating. Some organizations confuse improved engagement scores with improved performance. Engagement is important, but it’s even more important to strive purposefully toward the next stage of commitment. At this stage, employees embrace the company’s mission and see themselves as an integral part of the company’s success. Commitment is the key to reaching the goal of exceptional performance.
It takes collaboration to cultivate satisfaction, engagement, and commitment. And you need satisfaction, engagement, and commitment to sustain a collaborative atmosphere. It may sound like a chicken and egg scenario, but really it begins with a mindset of working together.
HOW WE DO IT: DEVELOPING THE 7 LEVERS OF SUSTAINABLE PERFORMANCE
To provide an example of how collaboration works in practice, let’s look at an example of how ORG developed the 7 levers of sustainable performance.
First, we came together to identify similarities within successful organizations. We determined not only how people work individually, but also how they work together within the organization. Next, we asked the question: How can we help companies achieve exceptional performance through their processes and people? We wanted to know how to move employees to a level of commitment.
Our goal: Create a complete, sustainable process that went beyond engagement. We outlined three phases: 1) Improve satisfaction, 2) Increase engagement, 3) Ensure commitment.
In the spirit of collaboration, we needed to make sure everyone was heard so the team would feel encouraged to contribute and embrace the finished product. We pulled all of our experiences and expertise together to create an outline of the ways a company changes and grows.
We identified the various aspects and influences on commitment and considered how it affects organizational performance. Each organization we work with is unique and requires different processes, methodologies, and tactics to achieve exceptional performance. But looking past these differences, we began to notice a common foundation that creates success, so we began to focus on these areas.
We understand that satisfaction, engagement, and commitment are important, but also difficult to achieve and sustain. Our team identified seven key areas that needed to be present for organizations to consistently drive performance. These became the “7 Levers” that leaders could pull at any time to drive the organization towards improved performance. We then determined how to break those levers down into steps that are relevant for all organizations.
COMPROMISE VS. COLLABORATION
This look at how our team created the 7 Levers of Commitment to Drive Performance is not an exception. It’s the way we operate every day, on every task. Collaboration is the backbone of everything we do. And it’s something we teach our clients how to do.
Some people confuse the idea of collaboration with compromise. Compromising can suggest a loss or a win, with one or both sides giving something up. This does not produce optimal results and will never get you to the commitment stage. It may get things “done,” but the net gain is usually not sustainable. At some point, most compromisers find themselves constantly revisiting previously “solved” issues.
Collaboration begins with listening and being heard. Getting everyone to be a team player is the key. Placing a high value on collaboration will allow your organization to invent solutions that were previously unthinkable and do things that were never possible before.
This is what we strive to do every day at ORG, as shown in this example of developing the 7 Levers. We listened, heard each other, and came to a unified agreement. These are the tools successful organizations use to achieve high levels of performance. We’re confident they can help you too.
Contact us today for more ideas to get your organization headed in the right direction.