According to the Price-Waterhouse 2008 CEO Survey, when CEOs were asked which of the following were critical skills to their corporation, the Ability to Collaborate ranked 3rd.
The survey summary went on to say:
“Although they [CEOs] say that it is quite easy to recruit people who can cooperate with each other, they also say that lack of cross functional collaboration is the third biggest roadblock in realizing the benefits of major change programs.”
So, one message from these corporate leaders is that people are stymied when exercising their capacity to cooperate. Perhaps one of the deterrents is the vertical silo structure many companies use to form their businesses. Maddie talks of her work in an R&D organization where the marketing/sales staff was perceived to promise product features to customers which the engineering staff could not deliver. Members within each function teamed quite well together yet there were few marketing-sales-engineering pow-wows to create common expectations. Hence, fault-finding between functions often accompanied disappointed customers.
What changes has your organization made to foster collaboration?