Managing potential has always been central to an organization. However, capitalizing on external potential remains a challenge. Indeed, in the era of “Customer Experience”, your customers and their consumers are increasingly at the heart of the design process. Whether in the web, user experience, research or marketing, your customers no longer just want a results report, they want to understand and even beyond, they want to participate in the process…

“The company is never smarter than its men. Management must release the sleeping potential: it must think outside the box and create the management of tomorrow, one that will focus on people and their potential. “- (DIONNE 2004)

How then do we as an organization to equip ourselves to exploit this potential of latent skills? What are the means and strategies available to you to establish healthy collaboration between all these stakeholders?

Approaching the issue with a stakeholder-centric approach can help you establish an efficient methodology. In this methodology, four aspects will be considered. First, an inventory of the current collaboration of the stakeholders of your organization will be considered in order to know the actions to be carried out. Second, the development of an internal relational network will be necessary to prepare for the addition of external stakeholders. Third, an individual skills development plan will be required, as well as a strategy for implementing the chosen intervention techniques.

Take stock of the collaboration

First, take stock of the collaboration of stakeholders in your organization. Identifying your strengths and potential pitfalls is essential to building the right foundation for your future collaborative process. You will need to show empathy by listening to the people in your organization. This will allow you to determine the scope of your intervention.
(CAIN 2012; MAXWELL 1999; BETHEL 1990)

Development of the internal relational network

Second, once your scope of intervention has been established, you will need to focus on the development of an internal relational network. Ensuring excellent and transparent communication between team members is essential if you want to create a solid collaboration. The overall vision that you will have acquired during your assessment will guide you on the interventions to be carried out. The objective being to be able to create a solid internal relational net with a view to welcoming an external stakeholder: your client.

In this spirit, enhance the heritage of your organization and that of your client’s organization in your process. An overall vision is based on the history of the environment in which it takes place, on the pre-existing needs in this environment as well as on the resources available: this is your context.
(DIONNE 2004; BETHEL 1990; MAXWELL 1999; GOLEMAN 1998)

Bet on skills

Third, once your network is firmly established, you can think about making the most of your internal potential. To do this, tradition has it that we rely on job descriptions. However, skills rarely accommodate these artificial boundaries between individuals. These descriptions clearly delimit each person’s tasks and areas of intervention, but they also create boundaries between members of the same team. A distribution of tasks by skill can overcome such limits while promoting the development of each individual.
(CAIN 2012; GOLEMAN 1998; SLOANE 2003)

Techniques to facilitate participation and involvement

Finally, once your intervention plan is established, you can put in place techniques to facilitate participation and involvement. There are many possible techniques. Whether you choose to set up an intranet, a new management tool or a communication process, the main thing is not to confuse the tool with the objective pursued. It is not enough to put a tool in place, leaders must encourage exchanges by exercising their leadership thanks to the tool put in place. They should encourage and facilitate involvement by demonstrating their own involvement through the use of this tool.

Finally, the work to do to improve collaboration within a work team is great, as are its benefits. Stay tuned for upcoming articles in which I will offer you techniques and technological tools to help you take each step!

Sources:

BETHEL, S. M. (1990). Making a difference: twelve qualities that make you a leader, New York, Putnam, 288p.

CAIN, S. (2012). Quiet: the power of introvert, New York, Crown Publishers, 323p.

DIONNE, P. (2005). Take leadership skills – The awakening of management, Quebec, Canada, Pearson ERPI, 1000p.

GOLEMAN, D. (1998). “What Makes a Leader?”, Harvard Business Review, found on March 5, 2014 at http://hbr.org/2004/01/what-makes-a-leader/ar/1.

MAXWELL, J. C. (1999). The 21 essential qualities of a leader: becoming the person others will want to follow, Nashville, Nelson, 161p.

SLOANE, P (2003). “Leadership: Are you a lateral leader?”, Found on March 5, 2014 at http://www.leadervalues.com/article.php?aid=262.

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