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5 Strategies to Maximize Collaborative Intelligence in Any Organization

Collaborative intelligence—the collective determination to reach an identical objective by sharing knowledge and learning while building consensus—is becoming increasingly essential to organizational success. In my last post, I discussed why leaders need to understand and implement a collaborative model based on creating a culture of collaboration that becomes an integral part of their overall leadership strategy. I also shared two essential skills—moving away from top-down authority and building bridges of cooperation—that can help build a more collaborative team.

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Collaborative Intelligence: The Competitive Advantage for Today’s Organizations

Here is an example of a typical call that I receive from our clients at SHAMBAUGH: An organization is undergoing significant change. To keep pace with the evolving marketplace, customer demands, and industry trends, they need to reexamine their existing culture and leadership models to successfully adapt. Often in such scenarios, the desire to evolve is prompted by the president or CEO attending a conference that referenced the importance of an inclusive and collaborative culture.

In one specific instance, a company president (whom I’ll call Steve) shared with me that his organization had just invested a lot of money in a new IT system that would now cross-integrate information across the organization. Would this do the trick to build a more integrated and collaborative environment, he asked me? I responded that while that’s part of the equation, it’s not the whole solution. What ultimately needs to drive this important shift, I told him, is your leadership—which means that your organization must reinforce the right leadership model to ensure that the proper mindset, behaviors, and culture are first in place. Doing so will ensure lasting results versus a quick fix.

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Can Your Current Leadership Model Drive Future Success

About a year ago, I sat down over coffee with the CEO of an IT company. The CEO – we’ll call him Robert – shared with me that his organization had been the market leader in their industry for the past five years and had enjoyed consistent growth and profitability. Their success to that point, he believed, was based on their leadership and their employees’ sheer drive and relentless focus on key results.

Yet despite their past success, Robert confided that he had deep concerns about the company’s future. A competitor with a creative, new technology had recently overtaken them as the market leader, and he had just learned that they had lost one of their key customers to this competitor. To make matters worse, the organization’s most recent employee survey revealed that morale was low, people were burned out, communication was lacking and employees had lost faith in leadership.

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