“Collaborating sure, but on what?” When I ask managers to identify barriers to collaboration within their organization, the lack of clarity on first priorities invariably makes the list.
Caught in an operational whirlwind, a multiple of projects underway and a wave of inevitable new initiatives, finding time to collaborate with other business sectors is an ongoing challenge. And defining the scope of this cooperation vs. the time spent on other priorities is an even bigger obstacle.
Here are means that have helped other organizations achieve greater clarity in setting their priorities and channeling their collaborative efforts:
1.Hold a meeting where the management team agrees that the lack of clear priorities and the number of projects represent obstacles to efficiency and collaboration.
2.Perform an inventory of ongoing priorities and initiatives.
3.Clearly identify what are the first priorities for the coming year.
4.Develop a matrix that clarifies the interdependencies between initiatives / projects and different sectors of the organization.
5.Establish business sector goals and common goals that focus collaborative efforts.
6.Establish follow-up and feedback mechanisms which quickly help assess if the focus remains on first priorities and inter-sector collaboration.
It is a simple process, but very challenging to achieve. If you succeed, this clarity will act as a beacon to guide the efforts of your organization through its operational whirlwind.