Cross-Functional Cooperation Breeds Innovation
My name is Sari van Poelje, I’m an expert in agile, innovative design and I’m here to talk to you about cooperation in teams. I’ve been traveling around the world helping businesses innovate as quickly as they innovate their products. And sometimes what I come up against is teams that are not willing to cooperate. Cooperation is really, really important for innovation because the cross-functional cooperation actually breeds innovation.
So it’s one of the essential things we focus on when we create individual businesses.
What do we mean by cooperation?
Well, cooperation means that you accept interdependence, so you accept that if you win, I win. If you lose, I lose. And together we’re there to create a new and innovative team.
Cooperation is based on trust and shared goals. Those two elements have to be there, else it’s really, really difficult to innovate and to cooperate.
What we do is we ask people the question, “What can you only do together that you can’t do alone?” Everything that you can’t do together or that you don’t need each other for, is a reason not to cooperate. Perhaps you need to create different kind of relationship. If you need to cooperate, if you are interdependent, if you need the other person to get something done, you need to create a cooperative relationship.
Cooperation is really based on three skills.
- We say the first skill you need to have is contracting. Contracting means that you can create really good agreements between you and the other person to be able to do your work.
- The second skill you need is to be able to communicate well. It means that you stay in the effective communication channels and you actually skip the dysfunctional communication channels. Good communication is not that you were a masterful communicator, so that you can speak well. Masterful communication is that the other person can hear you.
- The third skill that we need to focus on when we want to create cooperative relationships is consequence management. Consequence management means if we are successful together, how well are we going to celebrate? If one of us steps out of cooperation, what are we going to do?”
In the next videos we’ll take a deeper look at some more of these issues. Follow me to find out more.
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Sari van Poelje has 30 years experience of innovation on the interface of leadership and organizational development, executive coaching and transactional analysis both as a director within several multinationals and as an international consultant. Specialization in creating agile leadership teams and business innovation! She is the author of numerous articles and books on leadership and change.