Whether we like it or not, a company’s purpose is to generate wealth. It therefore has a constant need to improve its performance. To do this, it needs to continuously increase its “productive” strengths and capabilities. In very concrete terms if possible (investments in hardware, software, technical skills development, etc.), but also – and increasingly – in terms of “soft skills”: agility, ability to innovate, adapt to changes, interact collaboratively, evolve in a complex world, overcome obstacles, etc.
However, there is nothing new in that; performance has been a priority for years. And it has led to many positive individual training projects on what is referred to as the “T” column (the vertical line that symbolises “hard skills” of course) and, more recently and frequently, the “T” bar (the horizontal bar that symbolises, for example, teamwork, collaboration, cooperation and the development of adaptability). Therefore, we can and must help and encourage every individual in an organisation to develop new skills, new “productive” capabilities on a new footing, in a more open and uncertain world where knowledge has become less important than learning, and adaptability is more crucial than proficiency. 1 can thus become 1.2. And even 1.3, if you will forgive these rather simplistic numerical metaphors…
But this is not the only future development focus! We believe that further progress can be made by leveraging a second performance enhancement methodology, in addition to the still very common methodology based on individual skills and performance: namely, collaborative performance. This second methodology does not consist in improving the workplace atmosphere and employee well-being or organising seminars and team-building activities, but in creating an in-depth understanding of what a team is and how it really works as a living entity. The aim is to engage in serious reflection on the actual effectiveness of collaboration systems…
“Because collaboration is neither a coincidence nor a given, it is a process. As such, it can be developed, governed and optimised”
We believe it is important, for example, to reflect on collective awareness, share a common goal, redefine implementing rules, pool energies, take a broader view of working practices, and collectively recreate the kind of caring and mutually challenging environment needed to improve a company’s performance.
Thus – through greater awareness and hard work – 1+1 can and must ultimately equal more and better than 2. Therefore, 1.2 + 1.3 can also add up to more than 2.5 for the organisation; creating a truly collective ability to produce and to change. In the interests of everyone.
To increase an organisation’s productive potential, we believe it is now more important than ever to think about it not only as an organisation, but also as a system, a dynamic and an example of collective intelligence at work. Not just as a juxtaposition of individual talents and potential, however developed and enhanced they may be, or even as a positive group of people working side by side.
Business has never been an individual sport. And the strength of a team – if it is a team – is still greater than the individual quality of its members.
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