Can you believe that I share something in common with the former curator of the Nobel Prize Museum in Stockholm?
OK, so it’s just that we were both at the 2019 European ABPM Conference in Belgium last month.
Still, I’m thrilled to have met creativity and learning expert Tobias Degsell. Why? Because he gave one of the most fascinating talks I’ve ever heard on the hot topic of collaboration.
“Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.”
Doesn’t that perfectly sum up one of the biggest challenges professionals face? The gap between knowing what to do and actually doing it.
In our experience at Mandel, for example, most people KNOW that they need to communicate better but aren’t sure HOW to do it.
Tobias was talking about something a bit different. Something vital for Briefing Professionals and their SME teams. He was talking about the fact that it takes a team to make ideas reality.
To increase your chances of success? Collaborate!
Obsessed with Nobel Laureates, Tobias looked at how they came up with and then executed their ideas. He uncovered some common ingredients of success. Among them? Creativity, courage, and persistence. But another factor seems to matter even more.
I know what you’re thinking. No, it’s not that they were super smart or that they always had the best ideas. It’s that they were able to communicate and collaborate with people who were different from them.
As Tobias sums it up, “It takes a team to win.”Why doesn’t this kind of Nobel Prize-winning collaboration happen more often? Because people who are different from one another often don’t like or trust each other.
It goes back to trust, Tobias insists. Without trust, collaboration doesn’t happen. And without collaboration, you can’t achieve innovation.
In other words, you can have the smartest, most incredible ideas in the history of mankind—but if you can’t communicate them and collaborate well with others, you won’t be successful.
The same is true for companies undergoing massive transformation efforts right now. If people can’t collaborate well across functions and teams, failure is inevitable.
Build diverse teams of people who trust each other.
If you were to look at universities that have contributed the most Nobel Laureates, you'd see a pattern emerge, Tobias says. By and large, these universities had designed courses, spaces, labs, and other interventions that encouraged interaction between diverse groups of people.
Tobias’ survey of living Nobel Laureates further revealed that liking and trusting the people they worked with increased their ability to complete important tasks and projects.
Building collaborative spaces and cross-functional teams probably feels doable, at face value, for most organizations. But ensuring that people like or trust one another?
Doesn’t feel as easy, does it?
Make no mistake, it can be done.It comes down to understanding and encouraging behaviors that build trust—for example, active listening, transparency, authenticity, empathy, helpfulness, recognition—and discouraging ones that break trust.
I couldn’t help but see similarities between what Tobias uncovered and the findings of Google’s Project Aristotle. In looking at what makes teams successful, Google also concluded that trust was the single most important factor.
Just like professionals who manage Customer Briefing and Innovation Centers, you too may be faced with how to build cross-functional teams that work more successfully together. And, as is the case with just about anything involving humans, that challenge may feel daunting. Maybe even impossible.
Let me reassure you that it is possible. Thanks to research like that conducted by Google and Tobias, we’re gaining a better understanding of what it takes to create and mobilize high-performing teams.
For us at Mandel, it's an exciting field of research that has helped us to codify and build training around the skills needed to lead effective cross-functional teams and motivate their success.
As it turns out, Tobias and I share something else in common. We both believe that it not only takes a team to win, but that winning teams can change the world.
Want to learn more? Please check out our other blogs on collaboration skills. Or explore how collaboration and team-building training from Mandel can help you empower your people to work better together and achieve even more.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Recognition. It makes you feel good. This week in the US, many will pause for a day or two to give thanks and show appreciation for the things and people we care about most. It’s no secret how appreciation benefits the person getting it—but did you know it benefits the person giving it just as much? Discover why recognition is such a powerful tool for improving relationships and wellbeing in life—and at work. Learn how to (and how NOT to) express your appreciation to others.
People in communities across the globe are adjusting to communicating while wearing masks. As we’re all experiencing, masks present both verbal and non-verbal communication challenges.Given this, we’ve prepared 5 tips for effective communications while wearing a mask, and compiled several insightful articles from leading publications on additional best practices.
As part of our research into listening intelligence, we’ve detected four distinct styles (or preferences) of how people listen. These four listening styles cover what individuals pay attention to as well as what they are likely to miss in any collaboration.
Learn more about the 4 Listening Habits, and how listening impacts both the well-being and productivity of your virtual teams.
As you and your teams navigate working remotely, we’re publishing tips and best practices for leading virtual meetings, presenting virtually and promoting remote team collaboration.
For this week’s tips, here are 3 best practices for encouraging collaboration in your virtual meetings:
It happened fast. One day you were meeting with your colleagues at the office. The next day you and everyone you work with are working in remote isolation from home. Whether you’re new to working remotely or an experienced veteran, we all need to raise our virtual collaboration game to not only make this new reality work, but to make it work really well. Read on to discover seven practical, high impact tactics you can implement right now to ensure the success of your virtual meetings.
With travel restrictions, reduced in-person meetings, and canceled events, many organizations have employees working from home. For remote team members interested in brushing up on virtual communication skills, we’ve put together a list of helpful articles.
Meetings are more effective when people aren’t distracted. If your team is being taken off course by unexpected emotions, empathy can help build the bridge between wasted time and productivity. Brad Holst shares three ways to increase meeting productivity with empathy in this week’s blog.
In an era of digital transformation, skill development is all the more critical to organizational success. In 2020, we’ll share best practices for skill-building and keep readers abreast of trends that will help transform teams and drive workplace performance.
Read the blog and learn how to make your next team offsite your most productive yet.
Read this week's blog to learn the secret ingredient to Nobel Laureate success. (Hint: It’s not just that they're smart!)
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