When the wind changes, the team must know how to act.

A regatta is a symbol for successful cooperation. The team is well attuned to each other. The dynamic conditions of wind and waves require flexibility and quick action. This image can be transferred to companies because there, too, the overall result depends on the coordinated interaction of all employees.

In our “Collaboration” study, we delved deeper into collaboration as a factor for success: We were curious about how companies organize collaboration in difficult times to stay on track. In cooperation with Valuestreamer, we surveyed 326 German companies in spring 2021. For international cross-comparison, companies from China, Brazil and Central Eastern Europe also participated in the survey.

In doing so, we identified 7 key insights:

  1. Stress test corona
    Cafeterias and kitchens are no longer available as communication hubs. Short discussions with a colleague or a spontaneous trip to the office next door are obviously difficult to replace virtually. The result: lack of informal exchange
  2. The crisis as a catalyset
    Even before the crisis, there was not enough communication and not with everyone. These failures are now falling on the feet of the companies.
  3. Megatrends, Meetings, Flood of E-Mails
    Megatrends, such as digitization, internationalization and individualization, have been changing collaboration for years. But not always for the better: Employees often get lost in a flood of emails.
  4. Key Factor: Leaders
    In order to leverage the need for digital tools, a change in culture must take place.
  5. Exploring the potential of digitization
    But in too many companies, digital support for collaboration stops with communication tools like Teams, Zoom, etc.
  6. Maintaining an overview
    Key figures such as efficiency, costs, quality, customer satisfaction and innovative strength are noticeably weakening due to poor collaboration.
  7. Collaboration as a management issue
    Collaboration must become a top priority for management. The positive experience gained by many companies in the current crisis of breaking up old structures and rethinking collaboration is an ideal starting point for this.

These key findings are substantiated:

“The quality of collaboration in our company has room for improvement. In general, collaboration has three dimensions: being able to, being allowed to, and wanting to. In my view, the key factors for success here are continuous training and improving relevant skills, granting employees the necessary freedom to interact with one another within the framework of defined guidelines, an efficient and intelligent management tool, and developing and implementing a suitable mindset.”
Rainer Dieck, CFO, ThyssenKrupp Automotive

“The quality of collaboration within the company has undoubtedly suffered as a result of the radical shift to the virtual world. The binding nature of personal contact and encounters cannot be completely replaced by phone and video calls. Even though many employees greatly appreciate the personal benefits of working from home, it has had a rather negative impact on the company’s efficiency indicators. Future success will depend on finding the right mix of virtual and real world collaboration. In addition, further expansion of IT support is needed to enable the best possible management and integration of employees working remotely.”
René Dankwerth, Managing Director, Recaro Aircraft Seating USA

“The quality of digital collaboration (which currently represents about 100% of day-to-day work) has taken a steep, positive turn over the past 60 weeks. In my view, the pivotal points are moderation, coordinated rules, precise and targeted information, and intelligently organized time-boxing. If, also, the multitude of tools currently in use are sensibly adapted – and this is precisely what we are currently creating the conditions for – we will have the best framework conditions for a hybrid “new normal.”
Stefan Jörgens, Head of Development, JUNG

Inside every company there is an even better one.

If you would like to learn more about how best to master the sails as a team, read the comprehensive results of our Collaboration Study 2021 – Collaboration as the key to success.

We are always happy to assist you in optimally trimming your sails. Get in touch! We look forward to speaking with you.

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