Is Collaboration a value?

Global Collaboration
Illustration: Cora Besa

Most companies have a list of core values

Most companies have a list of core values. Many of these lists look alike. I looked up some companies. The values of Accenture: Stewardship, Best People, Client Value Creation, One Global Network, Respect for the individual and Integrity. Coca Cola: Leadership, Collaboration, Integrity, Accountability, Passion, Diversity and Quality.

IBM: Dedication to every client’s success, Innovation that matter, for our company and the world and Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships. Google has a nice list of ’10 things we know to be true’. Number 1: Focus on the user and all else will follow. On 3: Fast is better than slow, on 9: You can be serious without a suit and on 10: Great just isn’t good enough.

In this house we will not murder…

No company will have values as: Greed, Squeeze as much as possible out of our people, or Individualism. Fons Trompenaars, in one of his lectures I attended said: How do you feel when you enter the house of someone you just met, and there is a big sign in the hall that states: “In this house we will not murder’…

In a company I worked for Collaboration was added as a new value. The explanation: “We believe in diversity, the power of global teamwork and that by working as one we can deliver exceptional outcomes”.

I was happy with this addition, as global collaboration was indeed one of the key success factors for the implementation of the strategy. Does it help to define collaboration as a key value? In the Oxford Dictionary one of the definitions of “value” is: “principles or standards of behaviour“.

This is important. The value is easily defined, but it has to be translated into ‘standards of behaviour’. If collaboration is a core value, how can you recognise this in the behaviour? For someone to be rated high on collaboration, what should she or he do very well? Some of the behaviours on my wish list for world class collaborators:

  1. Involves others in all phases of a project
  2. Listens well
  3. Connects with others before starting to implement solutions
  4. Shares information and insight easily
  5. Communicates concise and clearly
  6. Has a genuine interest in different people and different cultures
  7. Knows how to use different collaboration tools
  8. Is persistent
  9. Is patient
  10. Is forgiving

I am sure you can add to the list.

Illustration by Cora Besa.


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