The Collaborative Team

The Collaborative Team

Developing a collaborative team increases success for all

By Corporate Coach, Michael Steele


Success of any organization depends on the teamwork of many people. Another term for teamwork is collaboration, which is more specific in it’s meaning. Every week in the top business periodicals, there are stories about the companies with the best employee culture such as Amazon, Zappos, Apple , GEICO, and LL Bean. They have built a culture of collaboration, cooperation and success. So, what is this concept of collaboration and how do we get there?

Collaboration includes the building blocks of company expectations that everyone knows, believes in, and buys into because they were a part of the process. When team members collaborate, companies can not only achieve their budget and sales goals, a culture is created that helps achieve sustained success through employee satisfaction and retention.

Creating a team atmosphere
One way to create a collaborative culture is to bring all the players together to brainstorm ideas to make the workplace more innovative. Through this process, the organization becomes a better place to work, and in the end it will become more productive. In his book, “ Leaders Eat Last,” Simon Sinek refers to an organization that transformed itself and created a more profitable company when its management started trusting its workforce and allowing these concepts of teamwork to push the company forward. As a result of the collaborative process, employees increased their trust in management and each other, which motivated the team to develop more of these productive practices.

If you are trying to build a more cohesive and collaborative culture in order to achieve goals, keep these key components in mind:

    • Team goals need to be developed by the people achieving the goals, not handed down from the top. With this practice, the team will hold themselves accountable.
    • Guidance from the leadership will still be important to this process. This will begin to build the trust that is so important in this collaborative effort.
    • The goals should updated on a regular basis.
    • Leaders and the teams should recognize the successes 3 to 1 over any needed improvements. This builds positive team awareness and drives them to more collaboration and success.


Also, keep in mind that each team member has different strengths they bring to the team, and the most successful teams include members with diverse skillsets, varying opinions, and different communication styles. These differences don’t have to be a stumbling block when properly addressed. Innovative companies use DISC profiles to help identify the communication style and strengths of each team member, and share insights on how best to communicate effectively as a group and one-on-one.

Overall, collaboration is key for long-term success of an organization large or small.  It drives communication, teamwork, creativity, productivity, employee retention, customer service, and profitability. When a collaborative culture is in place, employees are more likely to be happy and engaged in their work, and when that happens, the business is far more likely to be successful.


Michael Steele has used his basketball coaching experience to create winning teams in business and finance. He offers a unique perspective to business leaders and team members looking for the “win.” Click here for more info on Michael.