How to encourage people to do what they say they’re going to do.
Trust is weaved into almost every aspect of our lives. I trusted that my car would get me to the airport this morning, that the pilots and crew would get me to Washington D.C., and that my cab driver would find my hotel. This all comes so naturally. So why does the role of trust in collaboration inside organizations remain such a mystery?
For more than 150 years, organizations have been organized in silos that breed internal competition for resources. The psychology of competing with your teammates for resources, in turn, encouraged an insidious way of working: passive-aggressive behaviors where humans work side-by-side but work subtly against each other even though they are employed by the same firm.
Trust anchors every successful collaborative team.
We researched at Cisco the most important factors in creating trust on collaboration teams, and the single most important factor is revealing: do people do what they say they are going to do?
As leaders, it is up to us to be overtly aggressive at vanquishing passive-aggressive behaviors and building real, human trust. We have no choice in our hyper-connected world where change is constant and work is increasingly global, mobile and virtual. As distance and time condense, it stresses out the calmest of us as we scramble to meet deadlines while working with people that likely we’ve never met.
So what’s the key to building team trust?
“Replace uncertainty with clarity. Articulate the team’s purpose and establish up front what you expect from each member.” The Collaboration Imperative
How to build a team charter
A team charter helps clarify a team’s purpose, role, shared goals and scope; a charter eliminates ambiguity of expectations. As leaders, we can make a team charter the focal point around which the team builds healthy collaboration habits.
It’s possible to move beyond your gut feel and hope trust develops on your team; it is possible to operationalize it. Trust is too important to, well, just trust that it’ll happen. To that end, we’ve found that a team charter is most effective when it is composed of five elements:
- Team purpose: describes specific challenges, opportunities or tasks the team will address (and also expectations).
- Team role: teams form for different reasons. Know why your team exists – is it to align a group around an initiative? Is it to execute a priority together? What are the different roles of individuals on the team? Read more about various team roles in Chapter 5 of “The Collaboration Imperative”.
- Shared goals: most collaborative teams have people from different backgrounds, functions and even companies. Make sure despite your differences, you’re all chasing the same goals. These goals allow you to create a specific definition of what success looks like and allow you to map your goals to performance management
- Scope: establish well-defined boundaries of what you hope to do. These “guardrails” allow you to say no to ‘scope creep’! This helps members determine their time commitment and helps the team as a whole stay on track.
- Establish ground rules. Put ground rules in place for team procedures and processes (including meeting logistics), how you use your time together, who makes final decisions, how to resolve conflict, and how respect and courtesy are paramount.
A team charter is a powerful means to enable trust-building on your collaboration teams. Keep in mind that a team charter should be paired with a common vocabulary. Sweat the details of your team’s vocabulary. Ask if everyone on the team has the same definitions in their heads for the vocabulary you are using to articulate the charter. Don’t let the definition of a word be the reason trust is derailed!
The management science is pretty clear here: teams that trust each other outperform teams that don’t. Are you outperforming?
Tags: collaboration, Organisational Culture, team charter, The Collaboration Imperative, trust
Peanut butter and jelly. Sonny and Cher. Ying and yang. Can you think of other things that go together so well? I couldn’t until March’s Enterprise Connect when we announced that Cisco TelePresence and WebEx were uniting to deliver voice, two-way HD video and content sharing to any employee.
Why is this significant? With tens of thousands of Cisco TelePresence endpoints and more than 30 million active WebEx users, we wanted to make B2B video collaboration easier than ever. By combining our market leading Web conference solution, WebEx, with the market leading enterprise high-quality video capabilities in our telepresence solutions we are enabling a seamless meeting with anyone, anywhere, on any device.
Optimized to work with any standards-based video endpoints, Cisco TelePresence and WebEx helps organizations broaden the reach of video collaboration and simplify the experience for all participants.
What can our customers expect by bringing together these two powerful collaboration tools?
I’ve outlined a few benefits below:
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Tags: Cisco, collaboration, pervasive conferencing, TelePresence, video, WebEX
To help us understand what business executives think about ‘the cloud’ and the impact of cloud collaboration to their businesses, we asked Forbes Insights to conduct research. In response, Forbes surveyed over 500 senior executives from global companies with sales ranging from $250 million to over $20 billion, and interviewed 15 executives. The study examined the ways business executives increasingly look at cloud collaboration as a way to increase productivity, accelerate business results, and enhance innovation and collaboration across borders and functions. We weren’t surprised by the positive response to cloud, but some new and very interesting findings opened our eyes.
The survey results show Read More »
Tags: cloud, cloud collaboration, collaboration, Forbes Insights, research
For those of us in large enterprises, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of employees. With the rise of mobility, virtualization, and BYOD, many of us in the tech industry work from home, other offices, or even other countries. Because of this, many of us miss the chance to build good relationships with other team members. People with good work relationships are more productive, and tend to stay around longer.
Recently, my team had a major re-org, and helping new team members feel at home has been on the forefront of my mind. Here are some tips I am following to build a happier, healthier, and even more efficient team: Read More »
Tags: byod, Cisco, collaboration, employee satisfaction, health, mobile employees, mobility, networking, team, virtualization
Over the past decade, I’ve worked on a number of different projects aimed at improving communications using video conferencing and telepresence. In that time, I’ve been fortunate to be involved with key innovations at first Tandberg then Cisco that have had great impact on video collaboration:
- Forging life-like experience with immersive telepresence
- Extending the power of in-person all the way to the desktop
- Enabling a consistent and intuitive user experience with a revolutionary touch-enabled device
- Playing a pivotal role in driving video formats like H.264 and H.265 to standardization
- Growing the video calling circle beyond the enterprise with technological advancements like software video clients, cloud deployment models and firewall traversal that enable cost-effective B2B and B2C calling
With the spirit of innovation ingrained in both company’s DNA, the merger of Tandberg and Cisco’s video businesses in 2010 proved to be a major win for the industry and for the customer. Since then, we’ve focused our efforts on delivering next-generation video collaboration solutions that are enabling organizations to collaborate easily and efficiently, and allowing them to foster innovation within their own businesses.
Why is all of this so important? As time marches on, we see video becoming pervasive. Roberto De La Mora recently called video a business imperative, not a nice-to-have, and shared the five steps to success for deploying a business video strategy. The key to helping our customers prepare for the pervasive video future is through a flexible, scalable and interoperable approach. And others agree…
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Tags: Cisco, collaboration, conferencing, pervasive, tandberg, TelePresence, video