Somewhere on the continuum between the one-on-one sit-down and the many-to-many gatherings, lies that sweet spot – where the magic happens.

It’s a function of a multitude of inputs – the physical environment, the programmed interactions, the words and minds that shape the experience.

Outcomes. Decisions. Alignment, Ownership, Actions.

These are the missing pieces of the puzzle from most collaboration initiatives, and unfortunately they do not happen organically. To emerge they need encouragement, designed with the right amount of space to emerge, as at the start of any collaboration the answers are unknown.

The word collaboration is at risk of being over used. It could become one of the meaningless words used to describe many different things that range from digital tools that allow people to communicate through to large scale collaboration that enables people to work together and achieve remarkable outcomes.

Many projects and programs get stuck at various points in the life cycle, or if they make it to implementation, many have unintended consequences – or end up solving the wrong problem.

Collaboration is a critical tool in setting your project up for success and accelerating progress. This is partly due to the creative process that outcome focused collaboration enables in your organisation.

Let’s get started

All projects or programs start as a result of an idea or a vision – how we want to see the future.  Once created, the ideas or concepts behind the vision are passed to a project team – who start to create the plan and make decisions as to how the project will take shape.  Over time, the solution gets developed and implemented – solving some, if not all of the problems.

This all takes time and energy, and can be slow to gain traction.  Often there are loops where decisions, or the overall ‘why’ of the project is questioned.

What is missing are two critical ingredients:

  • Intent – This is about building a set of purpose around a project, it starts with the individual – do I believe, am I excited, can I focus. This builds in to a shared purpose – people believe in the project – they are emotionally connected to it.
  • Insight – The ‘aha’ moment – now I understand the why. I understand the decisions we have made, and the decisions we need to make.

Collaboration allows you to focus on these two areas. Bringing the future to life for the right group of stakeholders enabling them to define the problem to ensure you are solving the right problem. But also to prototype and test decisions in a safe environment before they become the commitments of the project.

We believe that collaboration is a human experience that designed correctly can increase engagement, drive productivity and help people feel good about the decisions they have made and the work they have done and worth the hard work over multiple days.

If you bring them on the journey and hand them the controls, you can watch your team’s process complex issues and design practical, real-world approaches.  Enabling decision making, but not as we know it. It’s a fitter, faster, stronger way to orientate your organisation to the optimal course of action, to discover new ways, to embark upon brave new frontiers.

It is about creating incredible experiences for people. Helping organisations leapfrog existing barriers and create real value from within by turning teams of people into supercomputers capable of processing the most complex problems imaginable.

In short, harnessing the group genius – redefining problems, identifying possibility, crafting tangible solutions in accelerated time frames.

This is a guest post by Nyk Loates, KPMG U-Collaborate. Connect with Nyk via or @inyk at twitter.