Have We Forgotten how to Collaborate Effectively?

Article by John Barr, last updated April 2022

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Henry Ford understood the need for improvement in his Team as they worked together in the early 20th century, so he developed a new take on the assembly line which significantly increased productivity. 

But even today the same issues around working together still exist. Over the last couple of years we have become more focused with our own roles. Working from home and hybrid working have detached us from our Colleagues and in turn the roles we all play in our shared business. 

We have become accountable for our role only, in our jobs now, the bigger picture has become very small. Collaboration has been forgotten and as the life blood of any successful business, this cannot continue. 

So How do we Keep That Alive in This new Working World?

At Business Simulations we spotted the trend early on. Listening to our Clients during discovery sessions, the phrases we kept hearing included Productivity, Focus and most frequently Collaboration. So, internally we got together and addressed this in the best way, we know how ... by creating a new Simulation - CONSORTIUM.

In Spring 2022 we piloted CONSORTIUM to a group of our established Clients and Partners. To have so many influential people in one session was both humbling and incredibly productive. These Folk know us, know our products, but most importantly know what they want from a Simulation exercise. We couldn’t disappoint them.

The accelerated session (2hrs rather than the actual 4hrs it will take), allowed us to focus on the key elements of what makes effective Collaboration, split into 3 separate Teams these Participants (most of whom had never met), had to quickly understand each other’s capabilities and then define the roles they needed to play in the Simulation.

The caveat with CONSORTIUM is that Teams, whilst all being separate Businesses, must also work together to win a huge contract that will benefit all the Teams as a Collective. 

As each team frantically pulled together their objectives and understood their place in the market, the Zoom breakout rooms (we hosted this session virtually) soon came into play with each Team visiting one another to discuss and agree plans. 

With each team deciding on a strategy that would help them all achieve their goals for each round. It was soon easy to see Collaboration take hold. 

Without giving too much away, each Team made some surprising but highly predictable errors and as a consequence saw some penalties come into play as the steady stream of updates were either ignored or misunderstood. As in real life, dilemmas can often force us to make the wrong decision … Without revealing the actual results, it was a pilot session after all, the Simulation was well received and the discussion session at the end gave us an opportunity to listen to participant feedback, allowing us to further improve the Simulation experience.

The reaction to the Session was very encouraging and reaffirmed our belief that this Simulation offers a unique learning opportunity in an area that is unfortunately under provisioned for. The need for training in Effective Collaboration isn’t going away anytime soon, in fact we believe it will be the key focus of many workplaces as they integrate back into the office structure.

For more information on CONSORTIUM please visit contact us.

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