How to Cultivate a Collaborative Culture

Achieve more by connecting from the inside out

By Kaleena Murray | Chief Culture Officer

Collaboration.  It’s no secret that collaboration contributes to better-performing, more productive teams and organizations.  Innovation is more alive, knowledge flows, decision-making is shared, and goals are met faster.  Poet, artist, and author Cleo Wade delivered a beautiful and inspiring Day 1 closing keynote on building community through collaboration. Her central message:

“Collaboration wins culture and results that feel good.”

How we collaborate and contribute to our work culture starts with ourselves.  She challenged us to be more reflective and shift our thinking to how we are good collaborators.  Our past experiences have so much to do with how we show up to work every day, but at the same time, can be a powerful tool in understanding ourselves and what influences the way we handle conflict and disagreement, communication, and change. 

I shared Cleo’s direct words with our employees here at Telamon, and felt the need to share them here, because I just can’t say them any better.  She asked us,

“What do I need to unpack to come to work to understand it’s not a battlefield?

In other words…

What am I willing to unlearn and let go of?

What in my past can I reconcile to be the best person I can be?”

I mean, how can I say that any better than Cleo herself?  That’s some deep introspection.  To sum it up, in her words,

“the best collaborators turn the past into experience.” 

Great collaboration is rooted in trust, safety, and meaningful connections with others.  Actively creating communities in our workplaces that cultivate these meaningful connections, along with open and honest communication, allows us to invite ideas, diverse thoughts, and creative solutions.  Organically, this promotes a culture of greater transparency, innovation, agility, and collective growth. 

Connection is a powerful catalyst for teamwork, bringing down silos and creating opportunities for individuals and teams to tackle tough issues and achieve common goals together.  Optimal collaboration.  It starts with each of us though, and our ability to be open, listen, and leverage the past to amplify best parts of ourselves…and in each other.        

Thank you, Cleo, for your words.