Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Building Productive and Collaborative Relationships at the Speed of Trust

Building Productive and Collaborative Relationships at the Speed of Trust. Todd Kreuger. Educause Review. March 2, 2015.
To make projects successful, it is important to create trust and collaboration among IT, staff, and campus groups. To create that trust, the staff must establish highly productive relationships with the school's departments, faculty, and students. Collaboration, design thinking, and innovation go hand-in-hand. Many projects fall short of customer needs, fail or achieve less than satisfactory results, including plenty of finger pointing and wasted time, money, and opportunity. Some of the lessons learned:
  • Get on the same page
  • Build and establish trust
  • Provide the tools and expectations for success
  • Focus on both strategic and operational needs
  • Clarify process ownership and the associated responsibilities
  • Recognize the desired performance and celebrate success
It is critical to have an open dialogue with various customer groups and to attempt to exceed their expectations. Another challenge is to ensure that people recognize the past as the past and not as an indicator of future performance. The best way to begin a change in culture is to identify issues and challenges that you can immediately address. The reservoir of trust is built one action at a time and emptied in a hurry. To steadily build trust, you must say what you are going to do and do what you say. Communication is the heart and soul of trust. It is imperative that you ask appropriate questions and listen to gain understanding. Collaboration should not be a project in and of itself, but the way in which we work.

Cycle of Productivity model. Processes and tasks must have a defined owner and be documented and published, and change must be managed to ensure that everyone is aware of the new expectations. The basic premise is that training, assessment of effectiveness, and feedback all must occur to ensure the process or task is completed as expected.

The end result "is one in which a culture of collaboration, coupled with a relentless focus on challenging the status quo, results in our encouraging, pushing, and helping each other innovate, transform, and differentiate."  

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