Harness competitiveness through collaboration
A lady headed out to a region where there was an oil and gas boom. The plan was to set up a sandwich truck near an oil and gas drilling site to serve the numerous workers needing a quick lunch. The high salaries of workers translated into higher prices and greater profits. Soon, she received an unexpected request from an oil and gas company to deliver 10,000 sandwiches per day!
The challenge emerged for the business owner to very quickly assemble a team to, start a bakery; transport large quantities of ingredients to the remote location; train sandwich makers and service staff; and deliver the finished products to the customer on time for lunch every day. This was an opportunity that required leadership skills in assembling a team of specialist across the supply chain from receiving ingredients to delivering to the customer at very short notice.
There is an increased demand for business leadership skills to plan, produce and deliver on unique projects such as the one mentioned in a profitable manner.
A budget needs to be drawn up so that financing and a certainty of payment can be calculated. All these require a team of specialist with knowledge of the food industry, finance, contract law, risk management and human resources.
Balancing the individual competitive spirits of specialist and moulding them into a collaborative team requires leadership skills in:
1. Assigning clearly defined task; and,
2. Building a communication network between the specialists that fosters trust.
These are essential for sustaining a collaborative team spirit that generates high performance to complete the project on time.
It is a big challenge for a business leader to transform a group of specialist who are highly competitive individuals into a highly driven collaborative team. This is a challenge worth taking on for the following reasons:
1. Assembling a team of competitive specialist enables you to benefit from a wide field of deep knowledge and expertise;
2. It allows you to take on complex task by utilizing the skills of specialist in different fields;
3. Investing in building a collaborative team tends to lead to higher business growth;
4. You get to harness the high competitiveness of independent minded specialist;
It is vital to prevent a team of specialist and experts from disintegrating into productivity destroying conflict. A business leader can succeed in creating a collaborative high performance team by:
1. Modeling collaborative behaviour through leadership by example. The top leadership should be bound by the same rules of engagement as the specialist at the operational level; and,
2. Practicing and encouraging open sharing of information across specialist areas to build relationships and establish trust within the team.
These simple actions applied to clear objectives and well defined tasks can lead to timely project completion within budget.
International Business Consultant
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