When Your Team Gives You Lemons – Make Yourself Some Liz Lemonade – Collaboration

I am eyeballs deep into a data integration project for one of our clients and it has led to a Netflix marathon of 30 Rock during all hours of the night while mapping data points. Obviously, I know it’s a sitcom and can’t be relied upon for accurate business knowledge. However, in their own extreme ways, the 30 Rock team struggles to identify a goal and collaborate with each other in an effective way. Does that sound familiar to any team you’ve ever been on?

When Your Team Gives You Lemons - Collaboration collaboration When Your Team Gives You Lemons - Collaboration When Your Team Gives You Lemons

To reach for a common goal is the basis
for all business organizations.

As Jack Donaghy says, “There are no bad ideas, Lemon. Only good ideas that go horribly wrong.” Often, bad communication is the culprit of why a good idea goes awry.  Antics in any sitcom can be directly linked to a misunderstanding between two characters; it’s formulaic and it’s constant.  It’s also reality. Any project team that I have been on that struggled in the areas of communication and collaboration, was because of undefined roles and unclear expectations. What leads to a hearty laugh in TV world, however, has a completely different result in the real world.  Damaged culture, cut budgets and layoffs are just a sample of the type of results that can come from poor communication and collaboration.

How can we eliminate this poor communication? Author Jenna Weiner from Fortune magazine gives us “5 ways to take the pain out of collaboration”:

  1. Synchronize your to-do lists
  2. Stay up to date with progress apps
  3. Make the most of meetings
  4. Streamline your file sharing
  5. Pull projects together with collaboration software
The key to effective collaboration is making sure the team clearly has defined who is responsible for each aspect of the plan.

As well as clearly communicating the progress of the plan to everyone on the team. This communication channel will eliminate confusion that causes potential work to fall through the cracks or worse that two people start working on the same task.

Remember, your team is usually working on the right projects at the right time. The creativity and innovation that people come up with when aiming for a goal is phenomenal. However, when miscommunication begins to rear its ugly head, ideas will start to die on the vine and your team will no longer feel empowered to collaborate with each other towards that goal.

Collaboration - Accountability is difficult collaboration When Your Team Gives You Lemons - Collaboration CTA Accountability is difficult

Embrace techniques, both technical and cultural, that can improve the collaboration between your team members.

These techniques will pay dividends as you accelerate how quickly you are able to achieve results for your organization  Results Management .  As for the 30 Rock crew, we always see them pull off the impossible by the end of the episode, goal obtained! Your organization can do the same but I hope by embracing a few tips and tricks you won’t have to go through the shenanigans to make it happen.

What have you done in the past to eliminate miscommunication and improve collaboration amongst your team members? Have cultural or technical techniques had more efficiency when coordinating a larger project?

CTA_what is results management collaboration When Your Team Gives You Lemons - Collaboration CTA what is results management

Photo Credit: NBC

Maria Frantz
Maria Frantz
Maria Frantz is AchieveIt’s VP of Operations, a proud Georgia Tech Grad, and a Master of Statistics. When she’s not building strategic plans you can find Maria painting and haphazardly attempting to learn how to play the violin, guitar, and trumpet.