... Especially in today’s remote and hybrid world. Despite countless ways to communicate, teams still struggle to collaborate, much less innovate.
It’s time to level up your team with Collaboration That Works, including:
Collaboration That Works is an interactive content experience — a digital book that’s bite-sized and bookmarkable for easy reading. Keep an eye out as you explore for fun surprises hidden throughout.
Now, without further ado, take a step toward making collaboration easier so you can get on with solving the hard problems with your team.
[text-ctt]The written word — text — is powerful for sharing ideas at scale, at a distance, and in a format that makes it easy to send and receive.[text-ctt] [text-ctt]Words are a wonder for connection and shared group experiences can make it easy to share a few words, even simple acronyms, and create rapid understanding.[text-ctt]
But teams need to know when words don’t work. Consider taking collaborative work to channels that are more robust — such as when you’re:
Combine multiple forms of communication — like mixing written words with a powerful visual. Break free from the tyranny of text to more clearly communicate with your team.
The problem is not that organizations lack purpose. Ask any C-level executive about the company’s purpose and values, and chances are you’ll get a solid answer. The disconnect happens when leaders expect those concepts to trickle down to their employees via internal wikis or a mission statement on an office wall.
That’s not how it works. [text-ctt]It takes top-down commitment to rally everyone around the same purpose, consistently and emphatically. On the flipside, employees have a responsibility to become invested in that purpose.[text-ctt]
This doesn’t just apply at the company level. It applies at the team and individual levels, too. Does everyone understand their team’s purpose, and their own? Can they see the impact their work is having? Because no matter how well you get along with your team, no matter how much you trust them, it’s near-impossible to do innovative work if your purpose is murky.
Here’s a quick litmus test to evaluate sense of purpose. How would your team answer these questions?
The way teams answer is a matter of extrinsic versus intrinsic motivation.
When you look only at extrinsic motivation, the answer to the “why” questions is obvious, practical, and perhaps a little cynical: to make money.
And that’s not wrong. Companies need to turn a profit, and people need jobs.
But when you look beyond the surface to uncover your purpose, as an individual and as a team, that’s where you find the intrinsic motivation that’s critical to stay motivated and excited.
If you’ve ever been at a job you hated with a team you loved, you understand the struggle of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Like UX designer Carmen, you probably felt like that job lacked a meaningful purpose, despite the connection and trust you built with your team.
That’s not to say external motivators are negative by any means. Incentives, like bonuses and promotions, can create healthy extrinsic motivation. Just don’t mistake them for purpose.
While you can’t expect everyone you hire to live and breathe your company’s vision or understand your team’s purpose from day one, it’s critical to find someone whose core values align with the organization’s and your team’s. Someone who is passionate about the work they do will virtually always outperform someone whose sole motivation is to bring home a paycheck.
On the flipside, people aren’t machines that you put motivation coins into and innovation pops out. Any number of things — e.g., competing priorities at home, feeling disconnected from the team (especially when working asynchronously), even mental health challenges — can impact someone’s ability to act on that purpose. Keep an eye out for signs of struggle, and tap into the trust you’ve built with your team to address any issues.