The Power of Teamwork and Collaboration
By Alan S. Gregerman President & Chief Innovation Officer, Venture Works, Inc. | March 09, 2014
"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."
We all know that Collaboration is vital to the success of hotels because it enables us to bring more and better ideas, insights, and perspectives to the important opportunities and challenges we face. It also enables us to deliver greater value to the guests we have the privilege to serve.
And we all seem to understand the simple notion that we are much better and much smarter collectively than we could ever be flying solo-in creating more compelling events, supporting the productivity and success of business travelers, and making leisure trips as memorable and rewarding as possible. As a result, most brands and properties have made collaboration a top priority by stressing its value, implementing systems and tools that are designed to support greater teamwork and knowledge sharing, and launching a wide range of initiatives intended to get people to work together across organizational boundaries.
Though it always seems a bit strange to me when employees, leaders, and HR professionals talk about all of the difficulties of working across the "boundaries" inside their own organizations. Don't boundaries typically delineate the outside of things? But leave it to humans, especially humans in workplaces, to turn departments and functions into silos, territories, and nation-states.
Whatever the case, most efforts at collaboration fail to leverage our real potential as individuals and organizations because they lack an understanding of how to connect and engage people who are different and essentially strangers. That's right, strangers in our own midst. Folks we either don't know at all, don't know particularly well, or whose background, training, generational affiliation, and approach to getting things done is just too "strange"-or at odds with the way we see things-for us to eagerly collaborate. Let's be honest, it takes at least two to tango or salsa and most of us can find a lot of reasons why we would rather dance alone in a world filled with people we don't really know, understand or trust.
But what if we could bring together the talents and perspectives of everyone in our properties in order to enhance our operations and truly delight our customers? If we could, we would be hard to beat. And the truth is, we can…but it will take real leadership and the help of a dedicated and passionate HR team that assigns real priority rather than lip service to the importance of working together.