Collaboration: The #1 Competence in Achieving Digital Transformation Performance

Published on Wednesday, December 16th 2020

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Working together well, often brings out the best in us as humans. When conducting a Digital Transformation and governing a complex IT landscape, good collaboration is by far the most important competence an organisation needs. Success is achieved together as a team, whereby the demand and supply take on the necessary roles to achieve their accomplishments. Neither can achieve that alone.

The quality of that collaboration is highly important. After all, it is about the IT support of our products, the greatest asset of a modern organisation.

Collaboration: It is Intrinsic to Human Nature

As a team member, we can contribute to swiftly producing the results we aspire to achieve. This can go two ways, either we succeed and enjoy the success that comes afterwards, and follow this by identifying the necessary steps that need to be taken. Or we can completely flop. And even if we do, this still gives us the opportunity to go back and examine our mistakes, learn from them and develop best practices.

Working together on a common purpose is intrinsic to human nature. In prehistoric times, we managed to establish ourselves at the top of the animal kingdom through collaboration. And now it is something that we do in our everyday lives, whether it be at work, in school or in our families.

Download our free whitepaper where you will find 11 Collaboration Principles to  optimize your digital transformation performance. 

Artificial Structures & Their Consequences

In fact, cooperation largely defines us as human beings. Our DNA singles us out to be collaborating beings. We are homo collaboratea.

Collaboration is something that we have been doing for a long time, but apparently, throughout history we’ve slightly lost sight of this skill. Our egos amongst other things began to prevail resulting in consequent behaviours. Which is why it is important for us to snap out of this trance that we are in and try and use our collaborating nature as much as we can.

Our society has come up with artificial organisational structures to get things done which are far from our human nature. These structures slowly hinder our ability to collaborate as organisations. For example, in the military there is a ranking system and strict command structure, this is no different in the corporate world, where we see these rankings and structures mirrored. These are the same structure that creates the large gaps between top management and those on the workfloor. And as a result also creates a gap for the two to collaborate.

The Human Factor

In such a scenario working together is more like a battle where there are distinct winners and losers. The winners are often seen as those having a high rank in the organisation, where they can bask in the glory of successful achievements when all is going well. And when things go wrong, the losers (responsible departments and suppliers) are forced into the mud and to take the blame.

Working in accordance with these artificial structures, almost never goes to plan. As humans we tend to forget that cooperation is mainly about "people". "In the mud together, in the sun together" is a Collaboration Principle that emphasises on the importance of collaboration. The chances for success increase significantly if we act on this principle, that focuses on the human factor. This is a first step to success in collaboration, especially in making IT.

So ask yourselves, does my organisation have a set of Collaboration Principles that we live by? Do I myself incorporate collaboration in my way of work? These are key questions we need to ask ourselves as a step towards understanding where the problem is and how we can fix it.

Collaboration principles

Cycle to Accelerate has identified a number of similar codes of ethics: a total of eleven Collaboration principles. Before the C-level managers of an organisation start working towards a Digital Transformation, they should take these principles into consideration. Check out these Collaboration Principles and the further explanation in our White Paper by clicking below.

Ibtissam Ben Baha

Cycle to Accelerate, General Manager

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