Collaboration and Competition

Last week I met a friend involved in a local not-for-profit. From outside, this organization grew up to have an impressive notoriety among young leaders and has been awarded several times during the year in in-house competitions. Seen from the inside, the story was a lot different. With prizes in mind, the board members (my friend was one of them) controlled a lot of the activities and when there was no one to move things forward, they would do it by themselves. They won the prizes, they communicated this in newsletters and, from outside, it all seemed perfect. Inside, a gap was created between leaders and members.

A large organization, a fairly large company this time – +50 000 employees – kept recruiting people and a friend responsible for the sourcing partnership was thrilled. Through her eyes, the company was expanding successfully, and she could not be happier with the partnership. This was the image projected by the company. Seen from the inside, they were loosing senior leaders almost on a monthly basis. Their story was similar to that of the not-for-profit. In the rush for re-sizing and re-organizing, steps were burned and people became confused. It probably made sense to a couple of executives, but they forgot to let the majority know what was going on.

The two stories came to my mind as I recalled a comment posted by a user of Marketing Magazine. In an article giving agencies cutting edge advice on how to succeed, the author left something out that this user spotted – Collaboration.

In the stories above, both organizations lacked internal collaboration. Knee-jerk reactions and delegating chores instead of delegating responsibility literally opened the door to a high turnaround in staff.

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