Accountability with Collaboration

A very warm welcome to the third edition of The OE, in which we take a topical look at maximising business performance through collaboration. Collaboration might seem an obvious desirable behaviour to deliver business outcomes, however too much collaboration without the accountability to deliver can result in a lot of talk and no action; collective accountability really means no accountability at all. In an environment where my performance is measured and rewarded, I need to be clear that collaboration is really in my interest.

This is indeed a difficult challenge for one of our FTSE international clients right now. They achieve excellent performance without collaboration because of the independent performance of its separate business units. In this case, the whole equals the sum of its parts – and it is a very good sum. But how could they realise the benefits of collaboration between the business units, whilst at the same time maintain the single-minded focus of the individual units? And, why should they?

In this edition of The OE we address some of the dimensions of organisation effectiveness that underpin this conundrum.

We are very fortunate to have the guest contribution of David Hunt, MD of Ryder Europe who describes Ryder’s collaborative approach to acquiring Hill Hire, and how this has benefited both businesses in the acquisition, to (as if) create a third that is the best of both. Mark Goodridge in his lead article explores the challenge of collaboration underpinned by clear accountability and in Gary Ashton’s article, he describes the three pillars for building effective business partnerships. Chris Legge, admits to being a “Trekkie” in the 70s, quotes Mr Spock, and introduces the notion of “social loafing”…. do read on… and Susan Carroll, describes how to reinforce a collaborative approach to navigate transformational change.

We hope you find this edition interesting, challenging and useful. As always, we welcome your feedback.