Randomly visit any company headquarters and once in the front door you’ll feel a low level drum beat extolling Employee Cooperation. Look around for a moment and you’ll see banners hanging from the ceiling with pithy sayings about cooperation and teamwork, upon closer look you may see plaques listing Team of the Month or Cooperation Stars of the Month. Offices and cubicles will be adorned with cartoons, quotes and bobble heads all affirming the power of cooperation among employees.
For most organizations, building high performance teams is not only a priority; it is a necessity. In today’s unstable and complex business environment, it’s no surprise then that ongoing tensions exist between the demand to produce and the need to cooperate – both of which are required in high performing teams. Yet in my experience, management’s focus tends to be on greater productivity over the need for closer employee cooperation.
But what if you could have both?