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Why it is Difficult to Collaborate

As obvious as the benefits of teamwork might be, collaborating is difficult. Imagine what it would be like to enjoy the outcome of joining our talents without having to make the sacrifices required to share. Unfortunately, letting go of self-interest is a primary ingredient of the teamwork recipe. Sadly, working in silos is easier despite the subtraction of advantages that come from working together. Let’s look at the spectrum of hardships required for healthy collaboration.

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Simplifying Innovation

Innovation is often the solution to the struggle between capacity and complexity. The challenges faced by teams get more complicated each day. The ability of the team to meet these demands is further stretched. The gap widens as time moves forward. Depleted teammates are encouraged to work smarter not harder. If you invest energy in designing a new way to approach a problem, you’ll be rewarded by the benefits of simplicity. This is the value proposition.

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Your Networking Funnel

Some connections are more meaningful than others. Basic socialization has plenty of value but the best networking leads to mutual growth. Imagine a funnel fed at the top by every single human with whom you have either a first, second, or third degree connection. Consider a narrow exit point where the flow of connections is defined by only the most impactful relationships. By what criteria might your priorities be determined?

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The Trailer Park Theory of Teams

Teams travel through cycles. Year after year, season after season, teams are recalibrated, repopulated, redirected, and redeployed. New talent, new leadership, and new goals drive the change. Amidst these constant transformations, some things stay the same. Consider the analogy of the trailer park. Families in trailers come and go inside this community ecosystem. Yet, the entrance, roadways, concrete pads and utility hookups remain in place. The infrastructure is steady and reliable. So, what comprises your team’s infrastructure?

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Why You Should Listen to Your Quietest Teammate

Activate an idea circle. Rather than opening a discussion where the most verbal participants shape the conversation, create a structure that invites everyone to pitch in. Often, the best ideas are left unspoken. Sometimes team politics make it unsafe to speak up. Maybe more introverted teammates prefer to listen than talk. An idea circle extracts innovation from the quiet side of the team. Here’s a way to turn up the volume.

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