The collective more than the collaborative …
By François Geuze, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of HRFiabLab Europe, and HR expert
To say that collaboration arouses resistance (to change) seems to refer to a difficult past. However, the emergence of new collaborative tools in the company is shaking up the way we work and our relationship to work. It is now common to say that we are in the era of “CO” COllaboration, COcreation, COperation, etc … but what are the foundations, the bases that allow to put the company in this new era? What are the key success factors for starting the Collaboration?
It is interesting to see how this term has invaded the managerial vocabulary, which is more of an injunction than a sharing of real concern. But beyond the paradox of imposing collaboration, have we really raised the question of the health of our work collectives? and without giving in to the illusions carried by the technological crutches that are then corporate social networks, the wikis and other tools, before decreeing the collaboration we have really stabilized working collectives undermined by more than 20 years of changes and incessant reorganizations? In many companies and organizations, it is enough to talk with employees and middle management to see how much and how the work groups have deteriorated in recent years, leading many of them to focus about their work and what is asked of them, to the detriment of innovation, trust and commitment to the company.
The question of working collectives is a priority because they are a source of efficiency and agility for organizations. To ask the question of collective work is finally a priority because they are necessary to the functioning of the collaborative. However, work collectives are not well known in the company (for example: the focus is on describing and evaluating individual but rarely collective skills) because for many years the control (by processes) has been preferred to regulation (by the work teams).
So how? Perhaps simply starting by reworking the interfaces between each of the types of activity that are the missions of forecasting, decision, organization, production and evaluation to inject collective logic, recognizing and valuing the contribution of the collective work and in giving back the necessary time for the flourishing of these collectives because that is how we will recreate the sustainable conditions of collaboration and even more innovation.