CEOs need to be Chief Collaboration Officers

supermanThis week’s Collaborative Learning Weekly is full of tips and tactics for helping us to work better through leading and learning together. But when you work in any organisation it really helps when the man or woman at the top sets the best example possible.

I had the good fortune to talk recently to a CEO enlightened in promoting closer collaboration within his business. He wanted to eradicate the infamous “silo mentality” – the cause of so much wasted energy and mistrust. I asked him how he would know when a culture of collaboration had taken hold.

He told me: “When we as leaders are delighted to tell our teams that we don’t have all the answers. They are right to look to us for a sense of direction, but it’s clearly time for us to embrace knowledge and ideas from our teams. We also need to allow ideas and initiatives to percolate up from all areas of the business and, crucially, for us all to see this as the “normal” way of working. Finally, we want people in our business to say with authenticity: “Look I see the big picture and know what we’re trying to achieve. And for my part of the business, this means X, Y and Z – tell me if I’m wrong.” Unless they really are wrong, we should be happy to give them the autonomy to go and deliver.”

Autonomy is a driver of engagement and we all know that engaged employees drive better business performance. When building a motivated workforce internally, the power of collaborative social learning platforms in driving learning and engagement and breaking down organisational silos is becoming increasingly obvious.

CEOs – take a lead and become Chief Collaboration Officers ….

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