15 January 2016

Collaboration Overload?

We live in the age of collaboration. Everywhere you look, people are realizing that the only way to solve our problems is to work together. However, working together can be a challenge, especially with a large number of disparate stakeholders, acting within their own silos. The latest edition of the Harvard Business Review, titled “Collaboration Overload,” states that the result is too often a series of endless meetings and an unsustainable workload for a small number of key people within an organization. Endless meetings that produce few results can sour people on the process. How can you create a culture of collaboration that is rewarding and manageable for people?

One way is to focus on reducing rework in your project. Rework is an indicator of a dysfunctional process, and the most common culprits are data and people. Rework can occur when key people are involved too late, or left out altogether. Similarly, data that is incorrect or late to arrive can throw the project into reverse.
Charrettes are designed to make the most of peoples’ time by involving them at important decision points. Charrettes also use the technique of time compression to bring key people together to create feasible, innovative solutions quickly. A design team is assigned to develop a set of alternative concepts that are merged into a preferred plan; stakeholders then provide critical review and design input through a series of short feedback loops. In addition, the charrette is an exciting, creative community-building event. Like in a traditional barn raising, lasting relationships develop when people work together intensely on a common cause.
The NCI Charrette System™ guides you through the organization and conduct of a multiple-day charrette that can transform the way your community or organization works together- both on your projects and in your day-to-day work. Learn more through The Charrette Handbook, one of our recorded webinars or in-person at one of our upcoming trainings.