A spider’s web of collaboration

By guest writer Jill Clancy.

We often talk about how we work collaboratively or in collaboration with others – but we usually mean those external to our own organisation or network or entity. For example: clients; partners; supply chain; government; contractors; etc. How well do you work collaboratively inside your own organisations? How well are your systems set up to encourage this (let alone make it happen)? Do your policies, processes and procedures make it easy or difficult or downright impossible? Is your organisation structured to take down the barriers for collaboration? Collaborative working or collaboration inside an organisation is like a tangled spider’s web. And trying to either create the right environment for collaboration or trying to untangle the one you have is as difficult – or as easy – as building a spider’s web (or at least the one we are most familiar with – the spiral orb web).

Some characteristics of a spider’s web include:

  • Complex structure – but built quickly
  • Built to catch a prey, but not always
  • Unique – no 2 are the same
  • Easy to destroy
  • Can build again, but never the same
  • Different types of silk – sticky, fluffy and non-sticky for instance
  • Lots of spiders – very few different types of web in comparison to the number and type of spiders e.g. spiral, funnel, tubular, etc.

We appear to work hard at identifying and establishing our external collaborative relationships – prompted by challenging, long and expensive procurement strategies but how much do we invest in our internal relationships and do we make it easier to collaborate internally than not to?

Do you have the best organisational structures, systems and behaviours in place to encourage collaboration and trust to thrive?

Are your Leaders actively creating the environment that encourages you to work across your organisation easily whilst at the same time create the space for innovation which is critical to successful collaboration?

I will look at these areas in my next couple of blogs, or if you can’t wait for these please contact me jill[at]jillclancy.co.uk

About the author

Jill Clancy is a collaboration, change and coaching expert — supporting organisations and individuals to realise their potential through building great collaborative relationships, embracing and embedding change – transformational and incremental, and providing business and life coaching. Connect with her at jill[at]jillclancy.co.uk, LinkedIn and Twitter.