From an early age, kids seem reluctant to share and the reason may have been found in a study by the University of Waterloo. The results showed that children as young as 3Ys old have a concept of ownership, so they don't feel the need to give up things that are owned by them.
Parents know that teaching kids is all about teamwork and sharing though, and the same holds true in banking. Working together with others is almost always more productive than trying to handle challenges on your own. According to the findings of a recent survey from Harvard Business Review and Google Cloud, 89% of executives around the world cite collaboration as a critical factor in the success of any business, regardless of seniority.
Given collaboration is so often cited as the driver behind innovation at some of the world's most successful organizations, community financial institutions (CFIs) should take the time to make sure that the culture within their own organizations is one that fosters teamwork and collaboration. While this seems obvious, sometimes things change as people move in and out of your institution. So, it is good to check now and then.
First, make sure employees of all levels are aware that they are free to share their ideas and input. This should happen no matter how rough or unpolished an idea may be. If employees have the perception that anything unpolished is viewed as being unprofessional within your organization, they are likely to hold off on sharing ideas until they are perfected. Even worse, they may just decide that it is easier to simply say nothing at all.
Next, managers should make it clear throughout your institution that it is okay to share ideas still being developed, as it allows for others to weigh in with suggestions that could take an idea in a different, and possibly even better, direction. Another factor that can aid collaboration is ensuring that employees have the time to interact with one another and aren't bogged down by too many time-consuming tasks.
In the case of Google, the tech giant makes an effort to automate any and all tasks that eat up employees' time, so that they have the opportunity to focus more on creative thinking and bouncing ideas off one another. While we realize that Google is in a league different from many of us, these ideas still have merit and could be done on a smaller scale.
Embracing the right kinds of technology could also be used as a way for employees to offer input on the ideas of others within the organization. Tools, such as videoconferencing, can be a valuable way for multiple people to interact without the need to be in the same room. But, even adding things such as a centralized folder or drive for creative ideas, where others can comment and contribute, helps. Another option is to use a segment of an intranet where multiple people can easily access and provide feedback. No matter the mechanism, the point is to get everyone engaged and to increase collaboration!