Some clear guidelines – most useful of which I think is ‘Focus on Results’ – asking the team and yourself ‘OK this is all fine but what are we going to DO about it?” – I find that the best way to get a tangible result is to actually offer a result (i.e. list of actions for people to complete by next meeting) even if people shoot them down and change them at least you’ve actively contributed and it gets people thinking of definite goals.
“The key driver of collaboration is dialogue, a deep (data-driven) conversation that generates insights.
• Is deliberate. It does not happen accidentally or randomly
• Builds better options by comparing data to listed goals
• Builds buy-in by being so interactive that it allows each team member to be heard (people support what they help create)
• Works best when the team uses effective which guide a team’s thinking in a very interactive way”
I like the word ‘deliberate’ here – it takes deliberate effort and attention to work well together and everyone needs to be in that mind set at the start.
Interactivity is infectious and if a few people champion this it will make other people feel more comfortable – leading to better interaction.
Working backwards is another great way to get real results out of a collaboration, as Cranfield says of his own brainstorms “Once we have what we believe to be an accurate description of the problem and the contributing process, we then wonder together which step is the most likely to include the possible root cause.” Start at the end result and work out the steps going backwards that would need to happen to create that end result.
- Keep it short and sweet
- Don’t pretend to have all the answers
- Don’t exaggerate goals and estimates
- Focus on the strong customer base
- Use real life examples and data