Over the years that I have been consulting around team behavior, I think that there are some common issues that clients share and always come up, both within teams and within companies on a greater scale.
- We operate in Silo’s even though we are part of the same team
- We don’t communicate enough/We don’t share information
One of the natural questions that follows is “So would you like to increase collaboration?” and the answer is always yes.
For me, part of any solution for the client to this has to involve some sort of experiential activity as we all learn by doing. This is mostly classified of as a team building program on the day/s agenda. This made me think – What is more important in a team building program – Collaboration or Competition?
If you want to improve team harmony and foster greater communication and collaboration, is pitting everyone in a virtual fight where there is only one winner going to improve collaboration and break down a silo mentality? Will this help build towards a goal of everyone working together more harmoniously?Will it develop relationships that will lead to lead to greater communication? Will you just be grumpy because you didn’t win and take this back to work?
On the other hand, competition is fun. The commercial world is about competition. A healthy level of competition may drive better results and most sales teams I have been in are built around this ethos. Maybe your team is getting to comfortable and needs a virtual kick?
There is a wealth of information on the collaboration vs. competition debate. My view is that collaboration, overall is a much more important behaviour. Wether you are in a creativity and innovation team, a sales team, a Human Resources team or company wide, collaborating with all of the great knowedge in your team or company will surely bring better results than working in isolation.
What ever your view, next time you are thinking of a team building activity for your team, ask the question, “Given our current circumstances, do we need to improve our level of collaboration or do we need to be more competetive?” That will give you some greater idea of what direction you want to go.