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August 06, 2007

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Great post, Lisa. Equally important, if you're the manager, is to understand and act on the fact that you are the primary driver of the culture of your work group. There are great work teams with powerful culture embedded in companies with awful corporate cultures. And there are dysfunctional work teams in the greatest companies.

Wally - I agree totally. There can be many cultures or subcultures within an organization and managers do a lot toward creating these cultures - good and bad.

The hardest thing for thinking managers to do is to find the line between enough and too much. Few gurus are any help. They like to be vague and work in general, ambiguous terms.

But we need a yardstick on subjects like "nice" and "inclusive." It's too easy to have a self-serving critique of our own niceness or to blame inclusiveness for the fact that we can't come to a fast enough conclusion.

Good points, Laurence. Sure, being inclusive might not be the only or primary reason for indecisiveness, but an overreliance on participation will certainly affect throughput and results. The key is to find the right balance for the situation.

Hi Lisa,

I just published a new book on collaborative intelligence and would love for you to review it.

My name is Stephen James Joyce, the author of ‘Teaching an Anthill to Fetch’, I'm a recognized authority on collaboration and my book shares crucial insights on one of the most pressing questions in business to-day: How can we develop a greater sense of collaboration in the workplace?

Collaborative intelligence has become an important issue lately because of the need in business to respond more quickly to a rapidly changing environment. Technology rushes to the rescue. Will a piece of software enable collaborative leadership or enhance employee retention all on its own? Everyday we hear promises about what a piece of ‘collaborative software’ can do for our team. But have we heard this before? “A PC on every desk will lighten your work load”, “becoming networked will enable us to share the work more equally”. We all know that these promises haven’t always turned out the way we thought they would.

If you are working in a team that’s ‘just not working well’ you’ll know what I mean immediately. No matter how sophisticated a piece of software is – there will always be the human factor. At either end of the interaction, there is a person, each with their own likes and dislikes and personal quirks. Collaboration intelligence depends upon the right tools but also the right attitude.

I'm offiering a free downloadable eBook (http://www.stephenjamesjoyce.com/content/view/11/17/) you will learn how to:

• Develop great collaborative leadership
• Reduce the strain of working inside a team
• Achieve more through people and less through politics
• Solve problems with greater creativity /flexibility
• Raise the level of employee retention and stabilize your team
• Accomplish more with your team using less effort
• Increase the leadership skills of the entire team

Collaborative leadership further enhances the sense of connection people have with their team. So developing collaborative intelligence (defined as the ability to harness the energy and intelligence of a group or team) should be the prime objective of any business or team wishing to ‘up their game’. Collaborative software is part of that strategy not the complete solution.

When you develop leadership skills through out the entire team more can be achieved with less effort. Employee retention is raised by higher levels of collaboration within an organization. Nothing succeeds like success. When collaboration and collaborative leadership is high, team members feel much less inclined to leave for another company. As a result employee retention is much higher. Your team has become a ‘team of choice’ and people want to join it.

Experience tells us that breakthrough performance is not just about the skills of individual team members. Special team efforts come from galvanizing each member around a clear and highly challenging objective. This kind of performance does not depend on a ‘secret ingredient’. In fact when a series of specific factors are put in place, collaborative leadership for example, it becomes inevitable.

The result of applying the tools found in this free downloadable eBook is higher collaborative intelligence and in the long run, greater employee retention and team stability. Of course there is the side benefit of a happier workplace.

Things are fairly simple when you think about it: when your goal is excellent (and fast!) customer service, you focus on getting enough knowledgable staff to handle your busiest times and to keep the customers from having to wait. I

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