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Group 2

• Yousania Ratu
• Beverly Mende
• Semuel Manuk Allo
• Lingkan Pagala
Photographs by: Andrew
Energy systems company • Leaders understand the
central role that cross-group
collaboration plays in
The collaboration business today.
• decided to offer an after-sales
service plan for one of its products.
• the best way to make that happen,
the company’s leaders knew, would
be to bring people from the sales
and service departments together
and ask them to collaborate.

• The leaders of EnerPac understood this

well. So they forged ahead with their
• But the initiative ran into problems
almost immediately. Sales and Service
just weren’t collaborating.
Stalling Out
• For the past eight years, I’ve
done extensive research into
what makes cross-group
collaboration succeed and fail
• the roots of the problems can • Here’s the problem: In
be traced back to the same mandating and planning for
initial caus. I call it the collaborative initiatives,
collaboration blind spot. leaders tend to focus on
logistics and processes,
incentives and outcomes. to
consider how the groups
they’re asking to work
together might experience
the request
• Nagged by concerns
about their security
• Their top priorities: Guard
the territory, minimize the
Armandillon in its defensive mode
Idea in Brief
When leaders launch cross-group initiatives,
they often fail to consider how the
proposed collaboration might threaten the
security of those involved. Groups may feel
that their territory is being encroached on
and reflexively assume a defensive posture

Leaders who want to foster effective cross-
group collaboration should start by doing a
threat assessment. How might the
collaboration threaten the identity, legitimacy,
and control of the groups involved? Only after
leaders have checked their collaboration blind
spot should they focus on logistics, processes,
and outcomes.
Global insurance company: InsureYou.
A few years ago, the company’s leaders
launched a collaboration that stalled in a
manner very similar to that of the
collaboration at EnerPac—but ultimately, and
instructively, they recognized what had gone
wrong and managed to turn things around
INSUREYOU: The Collaboration
Risk Management Team & Business
Line Groups
o Risk management team
Which knew how to calculate and
structure risk for all insurance

o Business line groups

Which managed various product
categories before and after risk
• If others were now being asked to do the same thing, did that
mean the company no longer valued Risk Management as a
distinct department?

• In being asked to collaborate,was the group actually being

asked to train its replacement?

Three main dimensions:

- Identity
- Legitimacy
- Control
They almost always require that
groups “own” territory—such as
areas of responsibility, resources,
or even reputation

Instead of pausing to consider how the

proposed initiative might threaten the
security of the groups involved, they
rushed into planning and implementation,
and the result was not collaboration but
• Overt territorial assertions
Such as that one’s own group is in charge
Or that the other group’s opinion doesnt
• Overt attacks
on others
Such as publicly criticizing another group’s
Operation or processes
• Power plays
Calling a high-profil “summit” to discuss
a topic but excluding the other group
from the invitation
• Covert blocking behaviors
Such as dumping so much data on another group, in such a
complicated form
• Covert manipulations of boundaries
Such as framing or subtly shaping perceptions about the
expertise of one’s group as being either very different from
the other groups’s( to strengthen boundaries) or very similar
(to weaken boundaries, which makes “attacks: on the other
group easier
Minimize the Resistance

To launch a cross-group collaboration

Identify and minimize whatever resistance the initiative

is likely to engender. Three of the dimensions to minimize the resistance:
• Reinforce Identity
• Reaffirm Legitimacy
• Reassert Control
Minimize the Resistance

Reinforce Identity
• Gain clarity on how each of the involved groups perceives itself.
• consider how the critical elements of the collaboration
might threaten the group’s identity.
Minimize the Resistance

Reaffirm Legitimacy
• Consider the big picture from collaboration.
- Think again about the critical tasks and credit to be shared
during the collaboration.
- Do any align with the group’s reason for being or its most
valuable contributions.
Minimize the Resistance

Reassert Control
• Identify the major areas in which the group has autonomy and decision rights.

For example: Broad topics, processes, equipment, and decisions is this group
responsible for?
- Landmark categories
- Consider collaboration
- Which topics will require shared, uncertain, or ambiguous control,
- How do they map onto the landmark categories
you’ve just identified?
Check Your Blind Spot