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Leading successful collaboration.
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Google's Surprising Discovery About Effective Teams

Google's Surprising Discovery About Effective Teams | Collaboration |

Pod. Work group. Committee. Autonomous collective. Whatever you call it, you’re part of one at Google and probably wherever you work: a team. So if we know what makes managers great, why don’t we know what makes a team great?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

There are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart from other teams at Google:


  1. Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?
  2. Dependability: Can we count on each other to do high quality work on time? 
  3. Structure & clarity: Are goals, roles, and execution plans on our team clear? 
  4. Meaning of work: Are we working on something that is personally important for each of us?
  5. Impact of work: Do we fundamentally believe that the work we’re doing matters?
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Who Are You Collaborating With? Chances Are, She Is Just Like You

Who Are You Collaborating With? Chances Are, She Is Just Like You | Collaboration |

People always prefer to collaborate with people that are just like themselves. Maybe they share the same educational background, the same age, the same hobby, or maybe they just joined the company within the same period. Always the same tendency.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

A fine blog post by Jeppe Vilstrup Hansgaard from Innovisor. 

The research got cited in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and other well-known business media. Even Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook cited the research in her book LEAN IN (page 153).

See also here:

Ralph Herrera's curator insight, October 14, 2015 9:57 PM

The importance to find collaborative groups with diversity.  The article speaks of how we tend to collaborate with our same gender group.  

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Next-level Collaboration: The Future of Content and Design

Imagine a future where siloed departments and legacy workflows don’t stand in our way. Today’s content is complex, interconnected, and needs to be ready for devices we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Tomorrow isn’t going to get any simpler. Successful outcomes demand a new kind of collaboration.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In this presentation, Rebekah Cancino focuses on: 

  1. What it takes to make effective collaboration possible. 
  2. How content strategists can play a key role in creating the cross-discipline teams of tomorrow. 
  3. Practical techniques you can use to bridge silos, increase productivity, and deliver better project outcomes for everyone.
You can follow Rebekah on Twitter here: @rebekahcancino
Ralph Herrera's curator insight, October 14, 2015 10:01 PM

This article presents how collaboration can take place in the near future.  How much are we willing to prepare for it?

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Why do we cooperate?

Why do we cooperate? | Collaboration |

Why do people cooperate?

This isn’t a question anyone seriously asks. The answer is obvious: we cooperate because doing so is usually synergistic. It creates more benefit for less cost and makes our lives easier and better.

Maybe it’s better to ask why don’t people always cooperate. But the answer here seems obvious too. We don’t do so if we think we can get away with it. If we can save ourselves the effort of working with someone else but still gain the benefits of others’ cooperation. And, perhaps, we withhold cooperation as punishment for others’ past refusal to collaborate with us.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Since there are good reasons to cooperate – and good reasons not to do so – we are left with a question without an obvious answer: under what conditions will people cooperate?

SENAME Interactive's comment, March 27, 2015 4:46 AM
I think people cooperate for mutual benefits. As you said they can do more when they are united. It also depends on other factors such as their circumstances, the way they grew up and more..
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Collaboration, from the Wright Brothers to Robots

Collaboration, from the Wright Brothers to Robots | Collaboration |

Watson and Crick. Braque and Picasso. The Wright Brothers. Wozniak and Jobs … and Jony Ive. Great collaborations all. Transformative. But what really made them work? How did collaborative relationships so ingeniously amplify individual talent and impact? Was there a secret to success?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Work has changed, and so has how we work together.

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Why Remote Work Thrives in Some Companies and Fails in Others

Why Remote Work Thrives in Some Companies and Fails in Others | Collaboration |

Since people began telecommuting decades ago, companies have been excited about the prospects to increase productivity, reduce costs, and gain access to a much larger talent pool.

But has remote work lived up to the hype?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Many companies focus too much on technology and not enough on process. This is akin to trying to fix a sports team’s performance by buying better equipment. These adjustments alone might result in minor improvements, but real change requires a return to fundamentals.

Successful remote work is based on three core principles: communication, coordination, and culture.

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Is Collaboration Limited by Organizational Structure?

Is Collaboration Limited by Organizational Structure? | Collaboration |

Organizational design has a huge impact on decision-making and collaboration, and both reflects, and often creates, the level of collaboration and autonomy with and amongst the workforce. Culture may eat strategy for lunch but decision-making, reporting and budgeting structures can either birth or strangle both culture and strategy with both hands tied behind its back.

At this stage we have four primary organizational models along a continuum from command and control to cooperative and anarchic. From GM to Valve we might call it, with a Basecamp and a Zappos thrown in to complete the picture. Each has strengths and weaknesses.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

I find the best work on collaboration to be Morten T. Hansen's book, Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Build Common Ground, and Reap Big Results.

Article related to the book: How to build a collaborative advantage from Sloan Review by Morten T. Hansen and Nitin Nohria.

Additional resources:

Resources on holacracy

Image credit: Gapingvoid /Jon Husband

Annabel Kaye's curator insight, August 5, 2014 11:12 AM

When you add freelancers into the ix your wirearchy can be tangled

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Why We Collaborate

Why We Collaborate | Collaboration |

What motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project for free? What is the key to making a successful collaboration work?

In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world..

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Come Together, Right Now - It's Good for Business

Come Together, Right Now - It's Good for Business | Collaboration |

Companies that collaborate on certain projects with other firms can reap greater rewards than going it alone.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

According to a new study in Advances in Strategic Management from Jason Davis at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, companies can synchronize their product development work in three ways:

1. By deliberately collaborating with partners;
2. By reacting to signals from other companies; and
3. By combining these two strategies into a hybrid approach.

David Hain's curator insight, September 6, 2013 10:40 AM

So true - and it could be even more powerful in the Public Sector!  But good collaboration needs careful due diligence - sometimes the cost of getting it wrong is greater than not starting...

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The 12 Habits Of Highly Collaborative Organizations

The 12 Habits Of Highly Collaborative Organizations | Collaboration |
Collaboration is indeed a top priority for many business leaders but knowing what makes organizations successful can be a tricky thing.
AnnC's curator insight, September 1, 2013 8:21 PM

How do we build collaborative processes in schools?

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Collaboration is the New Competition

Collaboration is the New Competition | Collaboration |
Leaders and organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts can't stack up against today's complex and interconnected problems.
Tom Fair's curator insight, February 8, 2013 2:15 PM

Collaboration! It works just as well with smaller organizations...

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Facilitating Collaborative Learning: 20 Things You Need to Know From the Pros

Facilitating Collaborative Learning: 20 Things You Need to Know From the Pros | Collaboration |


Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher levels of thinking and preserve information for longer times that students working individually.


This post provides 20 suggestions to help collaborative groups work more effectively. A few of them are:


* Establish group goals.

* Keep groups mid-sized.

* Build trust and promote open communication.

* Consider the learning process asa part of the assessment.


The post includes links to a variety of resources and each point has an explantion with additional information.

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Of the 3 types of collaboration, which type do you need?

Of the 3 types of collaboration, which type do you need? | Collaboration |

This is a post from Shawn Callahan – Founder of Anecdote.


Collaboration is a process through which people who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible.  And today it’s more than groups of people working together as teams and communities. Collaboration generates new ideas and new solutions that emerge from the interplay of these perspectives, experience and knowledge that help us get work done, coming from people both inside and outside an organisation, well-known and, yes, even strangers. We can have long-lasting collaboration—or short-term, formal or ad-hoc.


Older models of collaboration tended to focus on teams and formal, structured collaboration. We have more options now. Here are three types of collaboration and how we might approach them as an organisation: 

1. Team collaboration

2. Community collaboration

3. Network collaboration



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Why Collaboration Matters

Why Collaboration Matters | Collaboration |

Great interview with Ron Ricci, VP at Cisco. Along with Carl Wiese, he co-authored The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential. 


In the book they identify four executive behaviors of the collaborative leader.


These behaviors are the necessary ingredients to create a culture of shared goals, and eliminate or mitigate the types of human behaviors that slow organizations down. The four behaviors are:


1. Focus on authentic leadership and eschew passive-aggressiveness.

For collaboration to succeed, leaders need to be authentic. Cisco studied which characteristics of leaders on collaborative teams are most important, and we found that the most critical attribute was a leader’s willingness to follow through on commitments. Being authentic involves two elements. First, as a leader of a team, department or business unit with people, budgets and resources under your control, you must follow through on organizational commitments. Second, when there is disagreement about a decision, fight the instinct to make it personal.


2. Relentlessly pursue transparent decision making.

There’s a direct relationship between the agility and resilience of a team and the transparency of its decision-making processes. When you’re open and transparent about the answers to three questions — who made the decision, who is accountable for the outcomes of the decision, and is that accountability real—people in organizations spend far less time questioning how or why a decision was made. Think of how much time is wasted ferreting out details when a decision is made and communicated because the people who are affected don’t know who made the decision or who is accountable for its consequences.


3. View resources as instruments of action, not as possessions.

It’s hardly a new observation that people sometimes stockpile resources around their business unit or department, or are slow—perhaps even hesitant—to share those resources with other departments. There may even be incentives in place that discourage sharing. It’s easier, although never truly easy, to move resources around an organization when leaders tell their teams the process they used to make a decision about resources, the data and facts used to support the decision, and the tradeoffs they considered. Fact-based decision making is your goal; it’s hard to keep resources squirreled away when the facts suggest otherwise.


4. Codify the relationship between decision rights, accountability and rewards.

Modeling the desired collaborative behaviors—showing your employees that you walk the talk—is the goal. But what happens when you’re not around? The more these behaviors are codified into an end-to-end system across your organization, the greater the odds of collaboration succeeding when you’re not there to reinforce cultural norms. The most important enabler of an accountability system? Decision rights. Who gets to make decisions in your organization is the center of gravity for accountability. If you don’t have published decision rights, then accountability is problematic – everyone can point fingers at someone else.


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7 Lessons Lego Can Teach You About Enterprise Collaboration

7 Lessons Lego Can Teach You About Enterprise Collaboration | Collaboration |


Lessons learned from Lego about enterprise collaboration for your organization.

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Don’t Underestimate the Power of (Social) Collaboration. It Is Not a Given

Don’t Underestimate the Power of (Social) Collaboration. It Is Not a Given | Collaboration |

Ok, back to Social Business. After the last few days where I have been blogging a number of different times about some musings on redesigning and refining further along the workplace of the future, it’s time to get down to business again and continue to share further insights around social networking / computing for business or the good old Social Business itself.


By the way, stay tuned because very soon I will be putting together an article where I will explain why I’m going to move away from the social business concept into another one that I think is much more accurate and fitting in helping explain where we are today with the whole mantra behind Social. But till then, how about if one of these days you come to work and you bump into a rather controversial article, a superb read, actually, that questions the whole social business industry, right where it hurts the most: Social Networking for Business doesn’t count much on today’s CIO’s top priorities, after all. Disappointing or a huge opportunity? Both, eventually!


Read more:

Via Martin Gysler
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Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen
Thinker ★ Speaker ★ Writer ★ Leadership Adviser ★ Learning Designer ★ Neo-Generalist

Kenneth Mikkelsen is co-founder of FutureShifts. We help visionary companies identify and tackle the big shifts in the world by cultivating the skills, mindsets, behaviors and organisational cultures needed to succeed in times of change.