Tips

5 Ways You Block Collaboration

Are these barriers keeping you and your organization from creating its best ideas?

What blocks collaboration? The same things that block creativity and keep people from driving change, according to Bob Kulhan, founder and CEO of Business Improv, who talked to us for our August cover story.

The following are five of the most common ways collaboration gets derailed, Kulhan writes in Getting to “Yes And”: The Art of Business Improv.   To this list, Kulhan also added time and money.

  1.  Fear — of losing control, of uncertainty, of being wrong, of looking like a fool, of not being aligned with the boss.

  2. Organizational structure — bureaucracy, rules, rituals, space, silos, hierarchy.

  3. Status — The boss speaks first, so you follow what the boss says; one or two vocal people dominate meetings with their version of the right answers.

  4. Insufficient motivation — “It’s not my job.”

  5. Personal biases — previous success, complacency, status- quo bias, “If it’s not broke, why break it?”

If you’d like to read about ways in which your organization can successfully promote collaboration, read “How Diversity + Collaboration = Innovation”  and our improv feature with Bob Kulhan, “Yes, and…

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.