Collaboration: The problem, The myth, The fact
Collaboration: The problem, The myth, The fact

In today’s world, staying connected is easier than ever. However, we are drowning in the endless availability of technology and collaboration tools. While engagement is maximized, quality is compromised.

Across Doodle Design’s projects, we collaborated with industry leaders to identify top issues including: “Poor alignment”, “Ineffective communications”, “Team disconnection”, “Decision-making process”, and “Time to market”. So, what did we learn?

Today, we’d like to invite you into some perspectives on how changes in “ways of working and thinking” can help solve critical barriers and promote potential for an organization to grow.

The Alignment Paradox

The problem. Traditionally, the meaning of alignment is the arrangement of a “straight line”. In reality, teams are caught going around in circles, overloading information-sharing sessions, not-captured initiatives, and who-do-what-how silos. “The time spent on the internal decision-making process could have been used to rapidly launch, test and improve our competitiveness. How did this happen? A majority of the time, the problems lie in the unaccountability, low ownership, and critical misalignment with the view of leadership. ”, shared Chris Elkin, Founder, Doodle Design

The myth. Things are aligned when everyone that has the stakes in the project is grouped together and individuals are able to share their ideas. Is this really the case?

The fact. According to Mural, “Collaborative teams are more than the sum of their parts.” Alignment should be defined by “togetherness’. By together, we mean more than just “being there”. How might we connect teams’ minds in synergy and to remove biases and blindspots so that teams can learn from each other’s strengths? In other words, how might we unlock the hidden genius and potential of each and every team member to arrive at an organization’s desired outcome?

The Tool Obsession

The problem. The evolution of working environments and FOMO in hybrid models causes anxiety in companies. This leads to applying an overflowing amount of tools into existing overwhelming work spaces. Have you ever wondered why meetings happen more often than before? Are you busy but getting very little done? Is your organization trying to catch up because “the neighbor next door is deploying this new toolbox’?

“Our clients are doing all the right things. But at times it feels overwhelming. Ideas not captured or measured. Team’s utilization is strengthened but productivity is reduced. The availability of Emailing, Whatsapp, Notion, Slack, Asana, Team and alike is thought to be ideal, but they are drowning us” shared Chris.

The myth. Meeting often feels good and makes the team more ‘connected’ and less isolated.

The fact. Rob Malkin, VP, APJ, Mural continued to point out: “The problem isn’t about where your team is working. It’s about how they’re working. We need to create a safe, trust-worthy way of collaboration where teams can work ‘together’ in a ‘genuinely intentional and measurable way”.

Our clients are doing all the right things. But at times it feels overwhelming. Ideas not captured or measured. Team’s utilization is strengthened but productivity is reduced. The availability of Emailing, Whatsapp, Notion, Slack, Asana, Team and alike is thought to be ideal, but they are drowning us.

Chris Elkin, Founder, Doodle Design

The neglect of “great minds think together”

The problem. “None of us is as smart as all of us” a quote by award-winning author Ken Blanchard could never be more true. Why is this principle of “empowering individuality” or “unleashing team potential” so widely said, yet one of the most neglected?

The Myth. According to an article by Mural “For too long, leaders have put teams of individuals together hoping those synergies and symbiotic relationships would emerge naturally or serendipitously.”

The Fact. The collective gathering presents some challenges to unlock the hidden genius within each of the team members. The extrovert dominates. The quiets are afraid to speak up. The “Zebra” imposes their ideas. The ‘highest paid person’ is in the room. They are there but not there. Teams are ‘connected’ but ‘disconnected’. The concept of ‘great minds coming together’’ has to move beyond just being present.

Indeed, the idea of ‘synergy’ requires more investment into the right framework, methods, and commitment across teams to nurture a genuine relationship to emerge. “Doodle has adapted LUMA’s 36 Human Centered methods into our facilitation and training across companies to help them solve any misalignment, mindset differences, and psychological safety barriers. At the end of the day, when people feel safe, they feel belonging to share and thrive. From our experience, this is the missing piece that defines a winning team. Is the organization bringing together ‘diversity and have the right methods and discipline to unleash”, said Chris Elkin, Founder, Doodle Design.

To summarize, the importance of collaboration is more significant than ever. It is, and should be, one of the core capabilities to define a team’s ‘readiness’ for change, for disruption, for transformation or drives the way any organization wants to lead.

With that, we’d like to end with an introduction of “Collaborative Intelligence”, a powerful framework which Doodle Design has adapted from Mural to help our clients collaborate & innovate better. Whether you are applying in-person, hybrid, or 100% remote, the fact is teams need a common language and to do that, a need for the right place with the right approach.

Doodle Design has recently been appointed as “MURAL Preferred Partner”. MURAL connects teams with digital collaboration spaces and features designed to inspire better collaboration and innovation. This appointment makes sense as Doodle Design use MURAL  every day with our clients across Brand Innovation, Product and Service Innovation, Customer Journey Design, and Design Thinking Training services. Doodle Design deploys a ‘Co-Creation’ approach using LUMA’s system and MURAL‘s Collaborative Intelligence Framework to iterate and accelerate ideas forward. With MURAL’s built-in services and features, we are all set to help clients embrace this advanced collaboration framework to enable even more innovative, future-ready teams and outcomes. 

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