P. 1
The Psychology of Collaboration

The Psychology of Collaboration

|Views: 7|Likes:
Published by TOPdesk

TOPdesk software supports both IT and facilities processes. Recently, many clients have been approaching us to cooperate with them on merging these two processes. While some clients appoint the term ‘shared service centre’ to this merge; others prefer to use the term ‘service point’. Prior to such collaboration, a grand project plan – which should save time and money and enhance efficiency - is usually formulated. The fundamental psychological impact of this merge for the employees is, however, often left out of the big picture.

TOPdesk software supports both IT and facilities processes. Recently, many clients have been approaching us to cooperate with them on merging these two processes. While some clients appoint the term ‘shared service centre’ to this merge; others prefer to use the term ‘service point’. Prior to such collaboration, a grand project plan – which should save time and money and enhance efficiency - is usually formulated. The fundamental psychological impact of this merge for the employees is, however, often left out of the big picture.

More info:

Published by: TOPdesk on Feb 12, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/17/2013

pdf

original

The Psychology of Collaboration

TOPdesk software supports both IT and facilities processes. Recently, many clients have been approaching us to cooperate with them on merging these two processes. While some clients appoint the term ‘shared service centre’ to this merge; others prefer to use the term ‘service point’. Prior to such collaboration, a grand project plan – which should save time and money and enhance efficiency - is usually formulated. The fundamental psychological impact of this merge for the employees is, however, often left out of the big picture.
TEXT: AMANDA DIRKSE

16 TOPDESK

People who spend years working together often seem to develop their own identity, which includes values and rituals. Merging with another team that has its own identity might create friction and conflict. What should a team leader or manager take into account to ensure a smooth collaboration?

Collaborating equates with bidding farewell
Departments that merge must take a step back from their former traditions and focus on new goals, agreements and collaborations with people with whom they are not yet familiar. These changing

rituals and agreements spark a range of new questions: Should we work from nine to five or have flexitime? Do we eat lunch together or separately? Should we joke about technology or even our own colleagues? Are football or politics proper topics of conversation? Many people tend to think “we’ll work that out when we get to it, right?” In reality, rituals (and often implicit and unwritten rules) can form an obstacle for pleasant teamwork and even more so for developing a new collective identity. This is why formulating clear rules from the get-go and upholding new agreements in a disciplined manner are important. A manager can play a crucial part in this transition. A new collaboration may be viewed as a threat because it can be difficult for some people to bid farewell to their old habits. These emotions are legitimate and it is up to the manager to recognize and acknowledge them.

quickly. Furthermore, new shared rituals can develop – formal ones, such as meetings and discussions of progress, but also informal ones, such as coffee breaks and birthdays. The latter is important for developing a new collective identity. Organizing a teambuilding day at the start of the collaboration supports the manager in speeding up the adjustment process. This day is then entirely focussed on getting to know each other better.

Trouble in collaboration paradise
A smooth collaboration and positive results will result in a new collective identity. When projects are delayed or the atmosphere is not as good as expected, this can be a sign of flawed collaboration or unsatisfied employees. Possible causes are incorrect assumptions about colleagues, division of tasks or work agreements. A manager should then research whether the problems are grounded in work processes or animosity amongst colleagues. Especially with the latter, he or she should intermediate as soon as possible and not let the situation run its course. Discussing the problem with the people involved is an effective way of nipping the problem in the bud. If the manager does not intervene (in time), then the two teams might drift apart. While it should not pose a problem if old rituals are transferred to the new team, it is crucial that mutual goals are crystal clear and new joint rituals are formed. This article was written with the help of Marleen Korten, organizational psychologist and trainer at Schouten and Nelissen.

The managers’ role
Managers can stimulate the merge of two departments by informing them of the goals ahead of time. Facilities and IT departments, for example, are witnessing increasingly more overlap in their services. The merge will then reduce costs and simplify activities. A manager can emphasize these advantages and provide solutions for possible disadvantages. By propagating this common interest, the two teams are placed on the same wavelength. By assembling the teams in one office and getting started right away, the chance of a successful collaboration is increased; mutual dependence is immediately apparent and the first results are produced

TOPDESK 17

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->