Accidental Entrepreneur: How To Create A Collaborative Culture For Success
Welcome to my 43rd weekly article as this week is called “How To Create A Collaborative Culture For Success.”
In this article, I discuss some key strategies and principles I used to help create a collaborative structure previously in both of my startups. While making the right hires is an important part of company success, being able to provide leadership and realign the team to the main company goals amidst adversity is equivalently important.
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“எனைத்தானும் நல்லவை கேட்க அனைத்தானும்
ஆன்ற பெருமை தரும்”. — திருக்குறள் (416)
“Listen to wholesome counsel however meager;
for out of it springs great good.” — Thirukkural (416)
Building a successful company is not an easy task. It has many components such as great ideas, finding customers, getting funding, etc. While these are quite critical for a company to lift off the ground, company’s people culture is as important or more important for success. In my startups, I focused on people culture by hiring the right people and creating the appropriate collaborative culture for success of the teams as well as the company. Here are few tips I followed to create collaborative culture:
- Listening: Listening to the viewpoints of people with various experiences and opinions is at the top of my list. Listening provides a platform for others to openly provide feedback and listen to each other with differing opinions. Once the ideas and opinions are on the table, it is easier to drive for decisions. During listening, I tend to ask poking questions and supporting data which provide the ground for accepting the idea or driving towards different ideas. First and foremost is to create an environment for listening.
- Being Part of Solution: It is easy for people to throw eggs at other’s ideas or solutions and find reasons why an idea won’t work. These are the people I get worried about when they don’t provide alternative solutions but are negative about other’s ideas. By collaborating with others and learning from each other to come up with solutions is what makes people feel a part of a team. When people feel that they were part of the solution, they tend to step up and contribute to the overall success of the project.
- Focus on Results: Every team would have people with differing personalities. While managers/team leads have the responsibility to create an environment for togetherness, it doesn’t always work. In these situations, I take a deep breath :), and reiterate the end goals. Then looking at the end goals and articulating them in the most efficient way, schedule, cost, resources required, removes the emotions out to place the focus back to the overall team/project success.
- Individual Responsibility: While I talk about collaborative culture, why am I bringing up individual responsibilities here?!. The reason is that the strength of any project or team is as strong as the weakest link on the team. Therefore it is imperative to have everyone in the team take responsibility for their own responsibilities and deliver to it. As a leader/manager, they need to understand the strength and weakness of each member of the team to manage them accordingly.
- Collective Accomplishment: Have you been part of a winning team?! End of the day, everyone in the team, even those who played a very small part should feel great about the end product/result as their contributions helped achieve the goal. We all strive for success in our career and personal life. Being part of a winning team with a collaborative mindset adds another level of satisfaction to the team members.
Collaborative success is simply defined as being successful in one’s career by working together with a good group of individuals who strived for the success of a collective goal. By achieving the collective goal of the company, each member of the team achieves career success and learns new traits. Learning those traits, even the tiny ones, help achieve (spring) overall success would elevate everyone in the team along with the company as the above Thirukkural states.