“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson

Change is everywhere. It has been here for a long time. The only differences are that it is faster and more constant. One of the latest examples is the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Ukraine war.

How will this affect businesses and other organizations?

Change management affects everyone in the organization. When organizations are flatter and employees have more power, it’s just as important to change the way people think as it is to change the structure and policies of the organization.

“A great workplace is where people feel engaged and at home, and they can relate to the people at work and also to the meaning that they find through their work for the clients they are serving internally but also for themselves in their own lives and with their development.” – Will Linsenn

In today’s unpredictable environment, executives at all levels of the business should be involved in change management. Everyone on the team needs to be aware and prepared. Collaboration should be part of the organization’s top agenda.

What is a collaborative team culture?

It’s a culture in which everyone works toward the same goal. It is about respecting individual differences and individual strengths. If I compared it to anything, it would be sports teams. So certain teams consistently win because of the strong culture they’ve developed together.

At work, people have silos that make it seem like they’re doing their own thing. But in sports, it’s more like people fill in for each other or try to help each other while playing the game. So, I like to think of collaboration as helping each other by using each other’s strengths.

“Building a culture of collaboration within the team always starts with the leader.”

– Coach Anda

Leaders must be able to encourage their people to ask questions, be interested, and bring up complex problems or conversations without fear of being judged. So it’s done with a lot of respect, understanding, and willingness to figure out what each person on the team needs.

Another important aspect to note is that when team members see their leaders show how they encourage them to open up or speak up more in meetings, they see it as a behavior.

These behaviors don’t just become individual behaviors. It becomes a team behavior as well.

“When you do something more often, it becomes part of a culture. Leaders need to be aware of this and intentional about how they show up.” – Coach Anda

It is also crucial for the leader to explain what he wants the team to do. Let’s say in a meeting, they can practice by saying, “Let’s be open, creative, and respectful of each other’s ideas in this meeting. Let’s not judge.”

If they continue to mention that in every meeting, people will remember it, whether after or during the meeting. They can also call it out if it’s not happening. If the team has reached a point where they can be frank about it and say, “Oh, no way. Remember, we agreed on a more collaborative approach, but it’s not happening.”

Simply mentioning it shows that the team has attained mutual trust, understanding, and respect.

“If you want to build a better culture, build a better team culture, or leadership culture, then you have to be intentional about building new behaviors, and the more you put them into habits or into the little process, the more they stick.” – Will Linsenn

As a result, they’re already open to having uncomfortable talks and bringing up complex concerns, which is vital as a leader since it helps you address problems. It s like being a conductor in an orchestra when you can accomplish that. A conductor can make everyone in the orchestra work in harmony. A leader must be able to coordinate everything to encourage interaction and engagement.

During my interview with Will Linsenn, he mentioned that in order to be engaged and connected, we need to go from “being nice when the workers are calm and being relational when the workers are calm,” to “how do we do that in situations where the temperature around the problems are heated? How can we be proactive and be constructive in having constructive conversations and being encouraging to each other?”

Will is one of the global top ten leadership coaches by Global Gurus, the number 1 trainer by Thinkers50, and CEO of Global Coach Group where he helps take leaders to the next level by offering executive coaching services to leaders and organizations.

📺 Watch the full interview: https://youtu.be/noNk2Jj5KWg

In the interview with Will, he emphasized the importance of creating the interaction between the leader and their coworkers, which is much more focused on collaboration and co-creation. This is true especially with the layout of our current work environment wherein we deal with diverse people from different walks of life and generation. Change is always bound to happen.

He adds we need to lower the hurdles on how we can do this together. As a leader, you need to be much more focused on ‘how can we change’. It’s not just about me changing; it’s about us changing. You need to take the lead in that, but you need to create that bridge on how to do that.

Here are 3  benefits of building collaborative team culture in managing change.


#1. Problem-solving

Leaders and teams will be better able to deal with the problems that come with change. Because even in the most complex and most complicated situations, people need to know what’s going on. How do the teams and their leaders feel? Where are they in changing? What do they need from each other and the leader?

It involves looking at the people on the team and the team. How are they getting along now that so much has changed? Everyone on the team, including the leader, needs to see that.

#2. Encourages Open Communication and Engagement

It is essential to know how teams are contributing to the culture of working together to deal with the changes. Sometimes, when change happens, some people like to keep it to themselves, which can also be very stressful.

So maybe people are harsher or more judgemental. So we have to give that space for the process to happen. Find ways on how we can support one another through the change and realize that people are going through different phases of transition.

#3. Builds Trust

When I talk about trust, I’m referring to the feeling of psychological safety. Psychological safety means you can say what’s on your mind without feeling unsafe. It’s fine to talk about your feelings. You can bring your entire self to work, which is vital.

As Will puts it, psychological safety is a big thing, but you need to put a lot of small things in place to lower these hurdles and conversations. And these are small things like making sure your office door is open and making sure that the way your desk is placed that it is easy to approach, but it’s also things like walking around, making people cups of coffee, going around to do some small talk.

It’s being very deliberate about continuously lowering hurdles and conversations. Basically, you’re continuously kind of wiping away the snow while it’s snowing. It’s a never-ending process.

Collaboration fosters inclusion in a diverse workplace. Growing companies and their leaders need to embrace this idea and continuously encourage it to build a great workplace for everyone.