Business resilience is your organisation’s capability to anticipate, prepare for and adapt to disruptive events. It is about your capacity to recover from environmental and market changes.
Recent years have exemplified the need for resilience. They have also shown us the value of collaboration in weathering changes. When lockdowns rolled out across the country, our ability to collaborate kept many companies alive. Collaboration brought forth new ideas for products and services. It created new ways of working and gave way to the hybrid world of work from which many people now operate.
The relationship between collaboration and business resilience
Resilience is your ability to recover from and adapt to market change. The success of this partly relies on your team’s ability to collaborate and solve the challenges presented by the new environment. Adapting to change requires the sharing of ideas to solve problems. It is in this way that collaborative cultures have a direct impact on business resilience.
Collaboration creates other benefits that positively impact business resilience. A foundation of effective collaboration is psychological safety, which determines how comfortable a person feels voicing their ideas at the risk of being unpopular among others. When everyone has the platform to voice their opinions, it can lead to increased innovation within the organisation. Ultimately, these benefits can help improve your company’s overall resiliency and success.
What it takes to build a collaborative organisation
Building a collaborative culture is about having the right tools and resources. When we can no longer rely on water cooler conversations to chat about ideas, you must leverage other communication modes to create digital alternatives.
Target the obstacles to collaboration
Hybrid work environments include some common barriers to collaboration. Coordinating schedules to discuss ideas becomes difficult when you can no longer see whether someone is in the office. This becomes a tough challenge for teams working across different time zones. When remote workers are not visible to in-office workers, there is a potential for them to be forgotten or overlooked when planning and running meetings.
Technological challenges can also cause issues. If you do not have a single platform used across the entire business, it can cause frustration when trying to share files or find information. Other issues, such as a lack of training or governance on these platforms, can also interfere with how effectively people collaborate. When these crumble, so does your business resilience.
When you are aware of these obstacles, you can put the necessary steps in place to overcome them and create a collaborative environment capable of overcoming the challenges that arise.
Make the distinction between digital and in-person
It is no longer enough to look at collaboration in black in white, as at home or in the office. You need to account for the differences in collaboration when it is entirely digital, partly digital and in-person, or entirely in-person. You must have some guidelines on the best practices for working in each mode. Why?
To begin, people interact differently online compared with how they do in an office. One person might find it suitable to print something out for an in-person meeting, but they fail to account for remote attendees who need a digital copy. So, you might attempt to improve meeting collaboration by making digital copies emailed to all attendees standard for every meeting.
When you take the time to understand the differences between digital and in-person collaboration, you can take steps to ensure both are effective within your organisation. This, in turn, will lead to better outcomes for the business in the long run.
Take another look at your culture
Psychological safety is related to how well team members feel they can trust and cooperate. Teams with high psychological safety are more likely to take risks, be creative, and experiment.
Without psychological safety, team members are more likely to withhold information and ideas out of fear of judgement, stinting collaboration and creating a lack of creativity and innovation.
Psychological safety was initially accomplished through casual interactions or small talk at the start of meetings. For hybrid work models, you must find other ways to create interactions that generate a similar effect. You might encourage small talk at the start or end of meetings and get new employees to spend a little time having casual conversations with their remote counterparts. When it comes time to adapt, you might find that the ideas born from comfort to speak up are the ones that support the organisation in surviving environmental or market change.
Build your resilient business with Resonate
In addition to collaboration, business resilience relies on the robustness and elasticity of your business strategy.
I help B2B leaders define or refine their business strategies. I provide strategic advice and consulting on various facets of strategy; business strategy, corporate strategy, product/service strategy, functional strategy, go-to-market, competitive strategy, pricing strategy, etc.
If you are starting a new role as a business leader, or you have been with the business for a while, and want to improve your business’ resiliency, let’s connect, let’s talk. I have extensive experience in guiding business leaders on B2B strategy. I look forward to hearing from you.