How To Think About...Collaboration

The collaborative leader recognizes the paradox of domain expertise. Where the internalized norms and accumulated knowledge of the field are both the source of creativity and the reason that siloes appear and entrench. They have considered the boundaries of that expertise. The kind that emboldens leaders to abdicate responsibility for decisions outwith an imagined scope.

In contrast, they develop teams who practice accountable collaboration. Who display a relentless curiosity to be open to the world beyond the domain and the field. With a profound acknowledgement of the radical acts of empathy needed to support systemic interdependencies. 

The collaborative leader role-models a never ending pursuit of self-awareness. Uncovering the deep internal structures and assumptions they have acquired and which announce their allegiances, often unconsciously. Self-analysis which forms the foundation for effective collaboration. Knowing both what they believe, and how they are perceived by others. 
 

 
 

 
 

The Collaborative Leader Simulation Experience

 

Context

Ideograph is a global technology leader with a background in online gaming, instant messaging, social and, more recently, payments processing. As part of an aggressive expansion play into consumer hardware they have acquired an IoT smart home device manufacturer with an impressive product range and are rumoured to be integrating the entire suite with their own smart speaker and NLP capabilities.   

At their annual developer conference a presentation by two TensorFlow experts from the company sends shockwaves through the tech community. They demonstrate an exciting fusion of smart home appliances, speakers and Augmented Reality functionality where voice, hand and eye movement are used to control multiple devices.   

But with a launch date planned for the coming winter retail season, a series of issues threatens to derail the project. 

 

Task

Leaders represent one of six functional areas, each tasked with a single deliverable: a GO/NO GO decision with a defensible rationale. In a uniquely realistic environment where information gaps, competitive pressure and insufficient time converge to strain relationships, leaders will: 

  • Experience the seeming necessity of siloed behavior
  • Explore the boundary conditions of domain expertise 
  • Challenge the abdication of responsibility
  • Learn the virtue of accountable collaboration
  • Practice the radical acts of empathy and curiosity which support systemic interdependency
  • Capture subsequent, real world qualitative and quantitative impact