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To boost the bottom line, it’s important to increase productivity. This can be challenging for larger organizations, but by creating smaller, more agile teams, managers can facilitate collaboration and efficiency.
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Investopedia CEO David Siegel doesn’t micromanage — except when it comes to employee seating arrangements. He personally recommends where each new employee should sit with an eye toward improving collaboration between departments. And his entire executive team sits together — no offices, cubicles, or preferential seating. He argues that this approach to team building and breaking down silos has been critical to his company’s success.
What distinguishes companies that have built advanced digital capabilities? The ability to collaborate. Research finds that a focus on collaboration — both with and without technology, both within organizations and with external partners and stakeholders — is central to how digitally advanced companies create business value and establish competitive advantage over less advanced rivals.
The days when buying a used car meant “kicking the tires” and wading through a hard sales pitch are gone. With customer expectations evolving in a rapidly changing digital environment, digital dealership CarMax’s product development teams are “all about developing customer-facing and associate-enabling technologies,” says CIO Shamim Mohammad — but the focus is on the teamwork, not the tech.
How can companies get employees to pull together to meet project deadlines? It turns out that establishing psychological safety and promoting cooperative behavior can be just as important as good planning. This case study of management innovation at Roto Frank, a German company that produces hardware for industrial and residential windows and doors, highlights the difficulties of project planning and execution — and the benefits of building a positive feedback cycle.
How do you inspire employees to become more motivated and perform better? By challenging them to test their creativity and collaboration skills through a team-based contest. “The contest provided a safe environment for participants to unleash their imaginations and form an emotional connection,” write the authors. “That, in turn, triggered an increased level of psychological ownership and positive feelings.“
What happens when an academic institution rethinks how research gets done? In an experiment in open innovation applied to scientific research, Harvard Catalyst, a pan-Harvard agency, modified the traditional grant proposal process to bring greater openness into every stage of research. In the end, 150 new hypotheses were proposed. The Harvard Catalyst experience suggests that open-innovation principles can be applied to a well-established research organization.
Though the use of social media can be a valuable way to enrich a company’s culture and enhance its productivity, it isn’t a sure thing. The main reason some social media initiatives fail to bring benefits to companies is because the initiatives don’t create emotional capital — that is, a strong emotional connection between stakeholders and the company. That’s the main finding of a survey of 1,060 executives about their experience with social media, along with a number of in-depth case studies.
Researchers at Stanford and Harvard have found that when weighing someone with great achievement versus someone with great potential, we often tilt toward the potential.
Susan Cain’s new book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” argues that introverted people who value quiet and solitude to be creative are as able as extroverts to be transformative leaders.
Leaders in many jobs and activities try to make participants feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Research says that’s it’s pretty easy to create this feeling.
Nilofer Merchant’s The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy outlines how strategy with input from all employees is better than strategy from a few people at the top. It also outlines how to make it happen. “The bottom line is we don’t have the time in this economy to have a smallish group of people setting strategy or innovating or leading,” she says.
When it comes to knowledge sharing among R&D employees, professional reputations matter — but the chances of successfully garnering information from a colleague increase if the information is important.
As research on the National Football League reveals, sometimes the specific nature of a job determines whether a great performer at one company can replicate that performance at another.
Microsoft’s approach to software product development allows teams to be creative and retain the autonomy of small groups by frequently synchronizing and stabilizing continuous design changes.
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