Can you sense the pull toward more and more group work? The word collaboration is used frequently in organisational life but isn’t well understood or practised in reality…and yet somewhere within us, we know that working across boundaries and overcoming the isolation of long-held silo thinking will be one of the keys to elevating the impact of our work in its many forms.
The silos sit at so many levels – roles, departments, directorates, companies, organisations, institutions, nations and so on. There’s push and pull of getting our own ‘part’ working well and protecting it alongside deep knowing that in fact, true success relies on a higher level of interplay between ‘us’ and ‘others’.
On the global level we are seeing the challenges and the pull of group working in so many aspects of the Pandemic as, in some cases, we seek to work out how we work as a single Humanity rather than with separatist tendencies. Simultaneously we can see the undercurrent and indeed stark evidence of ‘me first’ or ‘protectionist’ behaviour. So too in organisations we can see this play out as we become immersed in our own priorities and agendas – not necessarily fuelled by political or personal gain but because we find it too difficult to lift our heads up and look outward.
Thinking and acting as a ‘group’ demands that we set or can connect to a higher collective purpose or focus. It needs an emotional maturity from everyone as we act from generosity and a higher point of service to the purpose rather than our own egos. That said, we know that in organisations so many of the performance reward mechanisms are geared toward the individual rather than collective performance. This will need to change for us to really harness the power of group working.
A group mindset has within its core a deep sense of unity and oneness…a bringing together of the unique talents and gifts of each entity – person, function, nation – and harnessing these in service of something bigger and which cannot be achieved alone.
This is the future and opening ourselves more deeply to the potential of group working will reveal many new opportunities for making it live. The question is how long will this take us given how pressing the need is now in our world?