Date – 21/12/19
Saturday. In a lot of cultures of our country, this day is not considered as an auspicious day. For some reason, there is inherent mistrust on this day! And that’s the beauty and strength of mistrust – it can happen on anything, even days!
Some of you would have guessed till now as to what we are going to talk about today – collaboration and mistrust. As organizations scale, we need to collaborate with many other teams to get the right outcomes. And very commonly, mistrust creeps in between teams – and teams are not able to collaborate to achieve great outcomes.
Not to say that anyone’s at fault here particularly – it just happens. We would have asked another team/person to provide a deliverable – which didn’t get delivered. Generally, it happens because either the other team didn’t have capacity, capability or priority for that deliverable. And we, instead of truly understanding what’s the matter here and how do we solve it going forward, just start assuming that there’s no point telling that team/person anything. And there starts mistrust. And further lack of collaboration. And further mistrust. The vicious cycle ensues.
The only way to fight this natural gravitation of non-collaboration is to –
One – stay cognizant of the fact that we are all in the same boat, same mission of achieving great scale, unparalleled customer experience, and creating great value for all stakeholders. In the books of history, no particular team is going separately – it’s gonna be either all of us or none of us. If we collaborate, our chances of telling the amazing stories of building something great to our grandchildren are much higher compared to not collaborating. Thus, just stay focused on the problem statement at hand and push all the relevant teams to contribute.
Two – don’t judge too soon and do an RCA together with the other team. If there’s some work other team was supposed to help you on and couldn’t – don’t just start making unilateral judgements that those guys are not helpful – let’s figure it ourselves!! Sit with the other team, have a conversation – you will be shocked to see the power of two people having an honest conversation without judgements.
Three – visibility. If you are not getting support – bring this out in a forum where someone higher in the ladder can help you. I have used the word visibility not escalation. Don’t complain – inform objectively. Sometimes, all it takes to resume collaboration is the realignment of incentives. And that, someone on the higher part of the ladder can easily do.
In summary, we are all on the same boat; don’t judge too soon; never underestimate the power of an honest and non-judgmental conversation; and provide visibility to the organization if something is failing. Magic WILL happen.