It can be both aesthetically beautiful and fulfilling to watch an organization synchronize. The idea of a team unifying around a common vision or idea is something I have always found exhilarating. We find it in great sports teams, in symphonies and in innovative companies. It’s a fast-paced world, and successful business only happens when you create a work environment that brings people together.
A few weeks ago I found myself cruising through the Nirvana station on Pandora while running on the treadmill. The station was playing Pearl Jam live in concert. There was this fleeting moment when Eddie Vedder turned the mic around, and together he and the crowd joined in the chorus. The sound of the crowd and Vedder singing together was inspiring; it sent adrenaline coursing through my body. As I ran, I reflected on just how incredible it was for Eddie Vedder to have resonated with so many people at the unlikeliest venue: a rock concert.
It wasn’t just about the words both audience and musician sang together; it was how they sang it that grabbed my attention. Through my headphones, I was listening to the exact moment a group of individuals aligned and shared a piece of who they were together. And that’s what true collaboration is: not just going to work, doing a job or making a living. Instead, it’s about uniting as a group to live your core purposes.
Captivating your team
It is not just musical collaboration that has the capacity to inspire. Businesses themselves can create absolutely inspiring synchronicity. When my company, The Money Source, launched our employee recognition software, YouEarnedIt, each individual team member became conscious of the work their co-workers were accomplishing. We have several offices across the nation as well as employees working remotely, so this was huge. Together, the entire team was able to create this company culture of recognition and gratitude that broke up the silos previously hindering teamwork and collaboration.
I’ve always found it fascinating to follow industry innovators who are formulating the next movement in teamwork. The Motley Fool is a company I admire for its capacity to lead in this trend. The multimedia financial company hired Chief Collaboration Officer Todd Etter to uncover the perfect balance between collaboration and competition, spurring the company and its employees on the path to success. Articles and studies have been coming out for several years now championing the importance of a hiring a chief collaboration officer. The right CCO can be incredibly beneficial for an organization, as they have the mobility to drive cross-company communication that aligns with big-picture strategy and goals.
At The Money Source, I like to think we share the responsibility of collaboration across the C-Suite, managerial and team member sectors. To be a rockstar in your industry, inspiring collaboration is important. It generates a return for all of your stakeholders and it generates innovative ideas. When your team is all on the same page, together, you’re going to break up any factors causing discordant behavior. You’re also amplifying the communication and goal-oriented behavior that sets your organization apart from the rest.
At Adobe, unified teamwork is accomplished even when a team is scattered across the country, like ours is at The Money Source. Adobe inspires collaboration by enabling team members to run with their creative ideas. Managers take on the role of coaches to encourage employees to go back to the board and build upon the brilliance of their team. Exercises like this can help in building trust and confidence among your team so synchronization is made easier.
In the mortgage industry, you won’t find an Eddie Vedder-worthy barrage of fans screaming praises every time we accomplish the perfect feat of convergence. Instead, my team and I find ourselves propelled forward by a why that has been built into the core values of the company. Growing happiness and respect in the mortgage industry is our ballet, our symphony and our perfect day at the ball game. Ultimately, teamwork comes down to personal satisfaction and fulfillment from the things we do. When we know we’re making a positive impact on the lives of those we collectively spend more time around than our friends and family, happiness and respect compound. When my team does this together as a group, well, I call that a thing of beauty.