Review: Collaborating Effectively—Harvard Business Review

Debra Sinclair
August 26, 2011

Collaborating Effectively by Harvard Business Review is a collection of nine inspiring articles filled with ideas and best practices to help organisations engage and collaborate effectively.

This insightful reference guide includes expert advice and case studies from leading businesses which showcase the main themes of the book.

A framework for developing collaborative teams is provided and highlights eight practices, based on relationship building and cultural change to help project managers and business leaders build and manage successful teams.

Collaborating Effectively accentuates the need for a supportive organisational culture, one built on trust, two-way communication and a sense of community, one that brings people together through business and social relationships.

The book also addresses the importance of leadership and the need for managers and business owners to engage and communicate clear, consistent messages to their employees and to behave collaboratively across all levels of an organisation. Leaders create, maintain and shape the culture of a business and by setting such an example they will work towards developing a culture that will nurture collaboration from the top down.

Collaborating Effectively will help project managers and business leaders identify issues or potential issues that may arise within their business, how to manage them and how an organisation can learn from these lessons.

As businesses grow and become dispersed across multiple locations collaboration, cooperation and communication can be challenging, highlighting the need for organisations to build and develop strong relationships with their employees, to foster a supportive culture and have the strategies and processes in place to collaborate, engage and communicate effectively.

These strategies should be linked to the goals of the business and provide a framework upon which an organisation can identify, manage, facilitate and evaluate collaboration. The framework should identify whether collaboration is necessary in certain situations, will collaboration add value to the business or will the outcome be more valuable if the project is completed by an individual? What type of collaboration will be used and why? How and when will it be implemented? How will it be managed and evaluated? Will collaboration be effective and lead to business success?

Collaborating Effectively is a great reference book and how-to guide that will help project managers and business owners to:

  • Forge strong relationships up, down, and across the organisation
  • Build collaborative teams
  • Determine when not to collaborate
  • Pick the right type of collaboration
  • Harness employees’ informal knowledge sharing
  • Manage conflict wisely
  • Make smart trade-offs
  • Put social media technologies to work for their organisation.

All businesses will benefit from reading Collaborating Effectively by Harvard Business Review. I highly recommend it, particularly to those looking for a management book about collaboration, engagement and communication.

Collaborating Effectively
By Harvard Business Review
RRP $38.00

Author avatar
Debra Sinclair
Debra Sinclair is a director and co-owner of liquid MANGO Consulting, which specialises in corporate communications, IT solutions and business administration for small, medium and large businesses. She has more than 15 years experience working in corporate communications, public relations, event management, marketing, media, sales and business management.
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