Work Without Walls


When boundaries become barriers

Organisational life is full of silos – the professional or cost-centre groupings within an organisation - and what Henry Mintzberg calls “slabs” – hierarchical levels of authority. There are good reasons for these boundaries – without them organisational life could become unmanageable. But boundaries can become barriers to collaboration, if loyalty to a team or professional group gets in the way of good organisational citizenship. Similarly, efforts to get different organisations to collaborate towards shared goals can be hampered by a natural human tendency to prioritise the interests of one’s own group.

What helps people “work without walls”?

We’ve developed a process based on appreciative inquiry, in which people share experiences of successful collaboration, and identify what made those examples possible – the behaviours, resources, and circumstances that helped. They agree practical steps they could take to build on those successes – what could they be doing more of, less of, or differently? Each time the session is run, the insights gained contribute to a cumulative picture of the principles and practices of successful collaboration.

The process helps people see how the world looks from the perspective of others, shedding light on what drives the behaviour and choices of others. So by participating in an event like this, people get to know each other better, away from the organisational pressures that can draw them apart.

Like to know more?

If your organisation could benefit from people working better across organisational boundaries, take a few minutes to get in touch.

contact us now to find out how we can help

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