Is Your Organization Collaborative?

Is Your Organization Collaborative?

“Yes,” you say. Not so fast.

Collaboration is a hot buzz word these days. We hear it from our clients as they look for expertise and bring together the disparate disciplines needed for innovation, creative thinking and new approaches to everything from data analysis to new product launches.

What does it take to assemble and, more importantly, empower teams to do their best work? It starts by acknowledging that the generalist, solo, one-person approach is long gone. Manufacturing, marketing, finance and many other business disciplines are simply too complex not to collaborate. We’ve become specialized and that requires collaboration to succeed.

Benjamin Jones, at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, says it this way, “There’s more and more to know in the world, and you can only have so much in your head. So the share of stuff you know as an individual is declining in any field.”

Jones teamed with colleague Brian Uzzi, professor of management and organization at Kellogg, to quantify the idea that teams are inherently more successful than their solo counterparts. Their results (read here) showed a number of significant positives to the team concept. Namely that the increased design complexity of an airplane, for instance, is quite different now than with the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. These days, product development and design require layers of collaboration from many different disciplines, and, often times, groups of teams to be successful.

At Axiom, we see this regularly as our clients come to us needing to think through things differently, view data from a new angle and apply fresh ideas to their business. Being the catalyst that breaks out of conventional thinking is energizing for our clients and for us. When we can confirm that their direction is sound, then guide them to a new level with innovative ideas and approaches it’s a win-win.

When your organization is in need of break-out ideas, we hope you’ll think of us.

Contact Mike Reiber at

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