This Simple Exercise Proves Value Of Collaboration

by Lisa Bodell for ForbesWomen

According to research firm McKinsey, organizations can help boost productivity by as much as 25% simply by improving internal collaboration. Animation studio Pixar already knows this.

It believes so strongly in collaboration that it redesigned its headquarters to compel interactions all over the company between team members. From the bathrooms to the cafeteria, people are constantly forced out of their silos—by design.

Beyond architecture, Pixar is known for a culture where sharing works-in-progress is the norm. Is it humbling? Yep. Is it valuable? Absolutely. (And Pixar has a dozen-plus Academy Awards to prove it.)

To get people in the habit of collaborating early and often, try a technique called Sharing Works in Progress. It’s designed to make us feel less possessive of our ideas and to leverage the expertise of others. Start by dividing the room into teams and providing a flip chart and a bunch of sticky notes to each team.

For the next five minutes, ask each team to come up with as many ideas as possible to solve their unique challenge. To illustrate, let’s try this one: you are Nike. how do you partner with Godiva?

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