Cooperation is at the heart of organisational success
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Human beings are able to cooperate on a scale not often replicated in the rest of the animal kingdom. We excel in large social networks beyond that of many other species (Dunbar, 2014). Our ability to understand others is highly tuned and allows for levels of cooperation and collaboration that can achieve great things. However in many organisations cooperation is a rare commodity.
One of the main issues is a lack of context focus or system-wide perspective. If everyone appreciates how all the processes and moving parts work towards organisational outcomes then they are better placed to drive results for the whole rather than their part.
We often see organisation structures set up to deal with the lack of cooperation. An intermediary box on the chart to manage what should have been achieved through a cooperative culture. What this does is create a new set of issues as even more relationships need to be managed.
When people don’t cooperate, they create competition for scarce resources to the detriment of the enterprise overall.
Where does the Rubber Hit the Road?
The answer is simple: The quality of your leaders and people.
Leadership effectiveness is a complex tapestry of mind-sets and abilities that are interwoven and contextual to each other. Does your leadership framework include the qualities required of individual contributors as well? Most leaders are grown from within, so it is essential that you lay the groundwork for leadership at recruitment.
Cooperation is a social skill so be sure to make it a significant component of development, reward and measurement programs.