Within a modern day organisation, there is a huge scope for collaborative leadership. However, businesses who may still be entrenched in old-fashioned values may still not realise the impact that leading collaboratively can have on so many aspects of their operation.
Traditionally, the top board level would operate in private with meeting after meeting, making decisions that affected the structure as a whole, without consulting those lower down the ladder.
Top brass may think this saves more time, involves people who they think may know better and is a pattern that has worked for generations, but this view is quickly becoming outmoded.
More and more businesses are opening up to the idea of collaborative leadership. They see this approach as creating a far more open and empowered culture within the company than has ever existed before.
Decisions, ideas and new suggestions are not limited to the dusty corridors of top management. Instead, the top management invites the thoughts and visions of the people on the work floor, who have more involvement with customers, suppliers and processes than those higher up the hierarchy.
Some businesses are taking collaborative leadership one step further, by inviting opinion and view points from those people and organisations that they trade with. Speaking to a supplier and asking them about how happy they are with their process of procuring items, or inviting customers around to speak about their experience with their company cannot help but provide extremely useful feedback for an organisation.
Collaborative leaders tend to have a skill in connecting with people. They are normally very good at bringing people together, remembering names, birthdays and other important dates, fixing people up with others in a mutually beneficial relationship – the type of people who don’t forget a face.
They also are good at spotting skills and talents, no matter how diverse, and applying that talent in to the organisation’s requirements.
Through all this, you’d think with the amount of spinning plates the collaborative leader has going, that there is a full scale potential for conflict. Well, the skills of a collaborative leader allow them to assuage any negativity by their skills as a leader. Welcoming both sides of an argument, the collaborative leader is able to calm the waters, engage the group to focus on the shared vision and move forwards.