C-Suite Collaboration and Organisational Success

We all know that the nature of work is changing. As automation and cognitive computing grow in sophistication, almost every job is being reinvented. Top tier leadership and C-Suite positions are no different.

Dramatic advancement in technology, the blurring of industry boundaries, and the emergence of new business models are among the forces bringing significant change to the C-Suite and driving the need for a new leadership dynamic. Organisational success is becoming increasingly dependent on C-Suite collaboration, promoting a leadership move from divide and conquer to combine and conquer.

In the first half of the 20th Century, businesses were led by a small number of finance-orientated managers, who took a command and control approach. In the 1980’s businesses began to struggle with the management of the increased intricacies of technology, engineering, and finance, and C-level functional specialists began to emerge. These specialists applied the divide and conquer model. Within this model, individuals honed their specialties to rise to the top of their game and work in isolation to deliver on their specific objectives.

As business becomes increasingly global and cross-functional, the C-Suite is entering a new era. Executives are adopting an integrative system which is based on collaboration and partnering. These ‘new-era’ leadership positions and, more importantly, how they interact with one-another, are pivotal when it comes to achieving organisational goals. Without smart C-Suite collaboration, and by this, I mean a group of purposefully selected people working together to create something or achieve the same goal; businesses will struggle to manage and respond to customer demands, industry changes and economic pressures.

To cultivate smart C-Suite collaboration within any given organisation is not always easy. Some managers that may have come of age within the era of divide and conquer, may be reluctant to relinquish full control of a project. They may also find it hard to stop working in silos when they’ve been doing so for ages.

When it comes to effective collaboration at the executive level, there are three key things to consider:

Organisational Understanding

Effective collaboration requires executives to understand each other’s objectives and challenges, and to see where they fit within the organisation’s big picture. This is incredibly important given today’s business complexities and the blurring of functional boundaries.

Discussions and Debates

Leaders with specialist skills that come together on a project won’t necessarily form harmonious teams. It is important to cultivate a culture where strong opinions are welcome and teams are encouraged to increase their level of candour and have honest conversations in pursuit of the goal.

Diverse Teams

Assembling teams with diverse skills is critical when it comes to smart collaboration. A cross-section of expertise and knowledge ensures that the team can respond to a need or change efficiently and effectively.

As businesses and individuals continue to see that collaboration can encourage creative problem solving, increase productivity and produce higher profits, silos will break down. Business leaders will continue to find value in pooling their knowledge and resources, and the new era of collaboration and partnering will prevail.

But it is important to note that more collaboration, isn’t necessarily better. C-suit leaders must learn to recognise, promote, and efficiently distribute the right kinds of collaborative work, or their teams and top talent may be burdened with the pressures of too much demand for too little supply.

Perhaps it is time to add a Chief Collaboration Officer to the C-Suite? This would certainly highlight the importance of smart collaboration and the need for thoughtful and effective management of teamwork.


Article was first seen on https://www.forsythesrecruitment.com.au/blog/c-suite-collaboration-organisational-success/