what is collaboration?

Does the Way You Work Actually Work?


Sheila Kelly

“An effective antidote to issues like employee disengagement and leadership fatigue, the COS offers sensible, leading-edge, and easy-to-implement strategies. As a corporate coach for ten years, I find this to be the most relevant professional development tool in my toolbox. The training is comprehensive and the trainers, masterful.”
Sheila Kelly, Leadership Consultant, Nova Scotia

What's missing?

Some years ago, sitting in a boardroom with 21 of our country's top scientists, Rachel was shown the problem. “We have all the information that we need to end the AIDS epidemic,” they told her. “What we don’t have is a way to collaborate to make use of that information.”

Everywhere we look, it’s the same. Without a way to work together to leverage the information and resources we have, we’re unable to address complex and intractable issues. The missing piece isn’t know-how or even money, it’s our inability to collaborate.

Technology and information systems forge ahead, but the leadership practices used to manage them lag behind – way behind. Nearly every organization we encounter is laboring with insufficient tools and systems that will never produce the hoped-for results. The reason they won’t get the results is because they operate according to some version of the win-lose, hierarchical approach – which means they still use power and authority as the framework in which to try and accomplish things. Continued use of these practices creates instability and predictably produces poor results.

For perspective:

  • 71% of U.S. workers over the age of 18 are not engaged in their work (Gallup)
  • 30% of IT-enabled projects never come to a successful conclusion (Gartner Group)
  • 70% of Business Process Redesign (BPR) projects fail (Malhotra)

What exactly about the way we work, often referred to as “hierarchy,” doesn’t work?

What is hierarchy, anyway?