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Ideas and recent trends related to team collaboration and HR performance
Curated by Karina Aouini
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How mass collaboration is shaping the future of business

How mass collaboration is shaping the future of business | Teamwork | Scoop.it
“You are reading an article fromThe art of collaboration series, to read more you can visit theseries homepage.”
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The Other Cross-Cultural Leadership Is Creative Collaboration

The Other Cross-Cultural Leadership Is Creative Collaboration | Teamwork | Scoop.it
By David Slocum One of the great assets of any global academic or training program is the national, regional, social or economic diversity of its participants. In its still relatively young EMBA program, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership has enrolled participants from more than 50 countries. That diversity helps people [...]

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Charles Tiayon's curator insight, September 29, 2:07 AM

One of the great assets of any global academic or training program is the national, regional, social or economic diversity of its participants. In its still relatively young EMBA program, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership has enrolled participants from more than 50 countries. That diversity helps people expand their individual networks and to join (or deepen their place in) a global community of creative professionals. Another positive outcome is learning from different markets around the world through sharing experiences, insights and challenges. More specific to the creative communication industries, which are undergoing extraordinary transformation, diversity among participants gives people more perspectives to navigate changing technologies, client relationships and business models.

Facilitating the exchange of experiences and fostering the professional relationships among participants is one of the key responsibilities of executive programs. More formally, we teach the major approaches to ‘cross-cultural leadership’ as part of the EMBA curriculum. The research, tools and models for understanding conventional national and cultural differences remain vitally important to the success of creative leaders.

Many of these are more widely familiar:

  • High- and low-context communications, anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s classical approach to understanding how much or little implicit knowledge is required in different cultures to communicate information effectively
  • Key dimensions to cultural interactions, identified through longstanding research by Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede, and including Individualism/Collectivism, Feminine/Masculine, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Indulgence/Restraint, and Long Term/ Short Term Orientation. (Fons Trompenaar’s succeeding model of national culture has seven related dimensions as well as five orientations for the ways in which people dal with each other.)
  • Richard D. Lewis, the founder of the Berlitz language schools in East Asia, Finland and Portugal, whose model focuses, in simple terms, on whether those in given countries or regions pursue individual tasks using linear or sequential logic, focus on relationships and pursue multiple tasks simultaneously, or follow strategies that seek solidarity and harmony.
  • Perhaps most ambitiously, the GLOBE project conceived by Wharton professor Robert J. House (and building on Hofstede’s model), offers both an inventory of nine cultural competencies and six specific leadership competencies that vary across 10 societal clusters. These include charismatic vs value-based, team orientation, and participative leadership.

Taken together, these approaches convey the complexity and richness of communication and, especially, leadership in a world still demanding of profound sensitivity in thought and action to social, cultural and national differences – that is, to an early 21st century world that is anything but flat.

Yet another aspect of diversity among creative professionals is not so often addressed: the diversity of roles and professions among those who increasingly are drawn together to collaborate. In the traditional creative industries, for example, everyone does not have the word ‘creative’ in their title. Amir Kassei, the Global Chief Creative Officer of DDB, the advertising agency, uses the helpful label ‘creatively minded’ to include those without other formal validation but still contribution to creative activities. Australian researchers Greg Hearn, Ruth Bridgestock, Ben Goldsmith, and Jess Rodgers go further in their recently published collection, “Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries” (Edward Elgar 2014), which argues for greater attention to the workers contributing creativity or creative services yet employed in sectors outside the creative industries.

In a world where cross-functional and interdisciplinary teams are not only increasingly the norm but looked to as a source, in their very diversity of perspectives and experiences, of original thinking and innovative work, the challenge for leaders is to recognize and yoke together such differences successfully. Just as leaders need to mindful, attentive and sensitive to the different communication and leadership expectations and norms existing across geographic borders, in other words, so they should be attuned to the expectations about working together brought by different kinds of creative professionals and practitioners. Just as Brazilians are sensitive and adapt to different ways of working together with those in Singapore, to take one example, writers need to be sensitive and adapt to the different ways of working productively with programmers.

Effectively combining differing perspectives and expertise has long been at the heart of creative business. The tension – for some, a paradox – between the chaos of creativity and the order of business or management has not only been a challenge to be overcome but a source of the ‘creative friction’ (to use Michael Eisner’s words) needed to generate fresh ideas. A ready historical example, drawn from the ‘creative revolution’ of the 1960s in the advertising industry (as well as others), involved surmounting the ‘great wall’ between creatives and suits without losing the productive opposition it represented.

A similar struggle with the tensions arising from teaming those with different perspectives and expertise has also long existed among creatives themselves. As eager as were the first adopters of Bill Bernbach’s revolutionary coupling of art and copy, finding success in work together wasn’t easy or straightforward. The very first team of art director and copywriter, the legendary Bob Gage and Phyllis Robinson, whom Bernbach actually took with him from Grey Advertising when DDB was founded, were enthusiastic about the new model but often struggled with its implementation. As committed as the two were, their interactions, which were meant to be shaped by constructive conflict, were often bruising. But they ended up producing exceptional and, often, timeless work.

To extend that example to the present, many are calling for an expansion or other re-constitution of the core teams in advertising. For some, it should be ‘art, copy and code.’ For nearly all, though, there is a reckoning that some version of an interdisciplinary, cross-functional or hybrid team adds value through its combination of multiple points of view and experiences. Copywriting, design, digital, and production, even planning and strategy are among the familiar roles typically mixed and combined in hopes of generating the best creative outcomes.

Looking beyond marketing services or brand communications, the value of recognizing different skills and experiences appears in even sharper relief. Contemporary design and architecture firms, for example, regularly integrate a wider range of experts to help shape their work. At IDEO, cultural anthropologists observe human behavior, kinesiologists study bodily movement, mechanical engineers contribute to the exploration of how physical solutions might be crafted. Foster & Partners, one of the world’s most renowned architecture firms, employs an even fuller array of professions, including acoustics specialists, aerospace engineers, mechanical engineers, and visual or plastic artists.

Of course, there is a crucial balance to be struck here – and also a risk to be acknowledged and averted. Even as we identify individuals as belonging to certain groups or professional cultures in order to be more sensitive to their needs and wants and well-being, we take the risk of viewing them one-dimensionally, simplistically. The writers do this and the digital guys do that. Even with the best of intentions, we may reinforce or fetishize categories of professional work or culture out of proportion. As with national or regional cultures or sub-cultures, we may stereotype unfairly. Individuals are not simply one thing or, despite a professional skillset or mindset or pedigree, alike in many ways. Put differently, it is not only a matter of recognizing and coordinating different skills or knowledge or perspectives in developing creative solutions to business challenges. Rather, the deeper task and responsibility of leadership is to understand that individuals with different skills or perspectives have often developed through very different experiences. Their conceptions of what teamwork is, how creativity relates to business, what successful outcomes look like, are all also potentially distinctive.

That is what I mean by another kind of cross-cultural leadership. The cultures and sub-cultures – that is, the shared beliefs and values but also common actions – of different kinds of creative workers deserve more attention. The more leaders recognize and remain mindful of those differences, the better they will be able to guide and enable the rich diversity of teams and organizations toward accomplishing shared goals together.

The challenges faced by leaders of creative teams and organizations only continue to increase as markets grow more complex, traditional relationships are transformed, and the skills of workers become more varied. Everyone brings distinct tools, skills and knowledge, often from across disciplines and functions, which need to be integrated in working together on a task or project. But perhaps even more importantly, everyone also brings different expectations, ways of working and solving
problems together. Among the tenets of effective creative leadership today are ongoing selfreflection and self-understanding and the central importance of forging a vision and purpose around which creative teams and businesses can rally and work. Increasingly, as leaders bring together disciplines, functions and technologies to generate better and better creative solutions for clients and customers, those leaders also need to be more attentive and adaptive not merely to the skills brought by diverse team members or colleagues but their different beliefs and ways of working.

Ultimately, this attentiveness and adaptability has the makings of a new alliance or social contract between creative talent with different experiences and expectation. It also presents an immense opportunity for creative leaders willing to understand and engage more fully the many distinct creative cultures represented in their teams and organizations.

Professor David Slocum is the Faculty Director of Executive MBA Program at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership and is on twitter @DavidSlocum.


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The Most Logical Yet Underrated Employee Engagement Strategy

The Most Logical Yet Underrated Employee Engagement Strategy | Teamwork | Scoop.it


Engagement has quickly become a leading buzzword in today's corporate environment.

Karina Aouini's insight:

So, if you really want to improve the engagement of your organizations, stop over-thinking your strategies. Instead, focus on creating an authentic real-time dialogue with and among your employees.

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The One Word Answer to Why Innovation Fails

The One Word Answer to Why Innovation Fails | Teamwork | Scoop.it
nnovation sounds easy, but it is not. The majority of enterprises report dissatisfaction with innovation performance. Three quarters of the CEOs of multinationals view external collaborative innovation as vitally important, but only half do it, and those only rate themselves as doing it ‘moderately well’. And remember - two thirds of organizational ‘change’ efforts fail. In case you are now asking yourself, why are these odds that low – we have a straightforward answer. It’s just one word. .
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Mobile payments in emerging markets (Infographic) | PaymentEye

Mobile payments in emerging markets (Infographic) | PaymentEye | Teamwork | Scoop.it
Are you making the most of your audience? You might be missing out on as much as 50 per cent. This infographic from Fortumo shows you why.
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6 Silent Culture Killers

6 Silent Culture Killers | Teamwork | Scoop.it
HR Pros, people leaders, owners, executives, and CEO’s spend countless resources these days building culture. Following the likes of Zappos, Google, Lululemon, and more – culture is no longer just a buzzword.
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Salespeople Must Add Business Collaboration to Their Skill Set

Salespeople Must Add Business Collaboration to Their Skill Set | Teamwork | Scoop.it
Salespeople Must Add Business Collaboration to Their Skill Set Business 2 Community And in response to the naysayers who say that collaboration takes too long in today's fast-paced environment or that it is an easy skill set to master so no big...
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5 Ways Project Team Collaboration can Drive Innovation

5 Ways Project Team Collaboration can Drive Innovation | Teamwork | Scoop.it
Innovation in project management is becomming more and more essential. Waiting for new ideas, single flashes of inspiration and 'Eureka' moments from the same individuals simply isn't enough.
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The 10 biggest management lies that Drucker exposed

The 10 biggest management lies that Drucker exposed | Teamwork | Scoop.it
The 10 biggest management lies that Drucker exposed by William Cohen, Ph.D.
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7 Tips For Bringing Virtual Teams Together

7 Tips For Bringing Virtual Teams Together | Teamwork | Scoop.it
Managing virtual teams can be a challenge and isolating for some workers. Here are seven ways to help your workers create – and maintain – strong ties.
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5 Tips For Receiving Great Ideas From Employees

5 Tips For Receiving Great Ideas From Employees | Teamwork | Scoop.it

How do you ensure that your colleagues' ideas aren't just bouncing back?

1. Be a routi

2. Be an idea catcher

3. Be accessible

4. Be satisfied

5. Be accountable


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This One Thing Can Make Or Break Your Employee Engagement : onboarding

This One Thing Can Make Or Break Your Employee Engagement : onboarding | Teamwork | Scoop.it
Everyone wants to get employee engagement right. There’s so much emphasis on making sure employees are engaged, and there’s a good culture, so you’re able to attract the best talent to come wor…

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The era of open innovation

The era of open innovation | Teamwork | Scoop.it
In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn't just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can't.
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Les pratiques managériales les plus innovantes du monde

Les pratiques managériales les plus innovantes du monde | Teamwork | Scoop.it
“ Audace, inventivité, souplesse, authenticité... Tout le monde s'accorde à dire que nos entreprises doivent se réinventer pour se différencier. Quand on parle d'innovation, on pense stratégie, offre, organisation et très rarement management, à savoir la manière dont on anime et les Hommes. Pourquoi ?”
Via Edouard Siekierski, nicolas enderle
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Edouard Siekierski's curator insight, October 7, 5:19 PM

"Le management, le parent pauvre de l'innovation"... 

Corinne Chauffrut Werner 's comment, October 8, 2:34 AM
L'innovation managériale, un beau défi pour les DRH :)
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Building a Teamwork Culture

Building a Teamwork Culture | Teamwork | Scoop.it
Building a Teamwork Culture
THISDAY Live
The need to involve people in all aspects of work decisions and planning has become critical for organisations. This is because teamwork is the key to organisational success.
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This Company Thinks It's Unlocked the Secret to Employee Engagement and ...

This Company Thinks It's Unlocked the Secret to Employee Engagement and ... | Teamwork | Scoop.it

Quantified employees ? 

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Open Office Or Private Space? What If We Told You That You Could Have Both?

Open Office Or Private Space? What If We Told You That You Could Have Both? | Teamwork | Scoop.it
“There are spaces for concentration, collaboration, and a glass pod for breaks. (I like.”
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7 Words Define What Employees Expect From Leadership

7 Words Define What Employees Expect From Leadership | Teamwork | Scoop.it
During these times of change and uncertainty, employees need leadership, not followership, from their leaders. They have grown tired of the unnecessary workplace politics that makes them feel as if they don’t have a relationship with leadership they can count on – one that is reliable, honest and authentic. The 2008 recession awakened the workforce to the reality that each employee must fend for themselves as leaders focused more on their own personal agendas rather than that of the organization and the people they serve.
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Mapping the value of employee collaboration

Mapping the value of employee collaboration | Teamwork | Scoop.it
As collaboration within and among organizations becomes increasingly important, companies must improve their management of the networks where it typically occurs. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
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How to Increase Employee Engagement ?

How to Increase Employee Engagement ? | Teamwork | Scoop.it
The employee engagement funnel isn’t about screening employees or reviewing their performance. It is about engaging them with their work and the goals of the corporation.
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Why Working Together is Success

Why Working Together is Success | Teamwork | Scoop.it
At Lesson.ly, we believe that unlocking the potential of your employees is a multi-faceted endeavor, but keeping employee connection at the center will help (Grt piece on teamwork good handout for your team @Steven_J_Snyder
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The Goal Board Is A Calendar For Your Ambition

The Goal Board Is A Calendar For Your Ambition | Teamwork | Scoop.it
We all have goals beyond getting our job done. Here's a tool to help reach them. (We all have goals beyond getting our job done.
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Six takeways from the HR Analytics Innovation Summit

Six takeways from the HR Analytics Innovation Summit | Teamwork | Scoop.it
iNostix's 'Evolving from Tracking to Predictive HR Analytics' modelI recently had the honour of chairing the HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit in London.
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3 Surprising Ways Leaders Create Change Resistance

3 Surprising Ways Leaders Create Change Resistance | Teamwork | Scoop.it
As you kick off your next change or wave, know that what works beautifully in managing a process or your ongoing work may be create hard resistance.
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