Internal collaboration is an important platform which not only allows each department, but also every employee to work together more cohesively. A collaborative work environment is an important concept because it a vehicle that can bridge the gap between each employee and the key roles that they play in a given organization.
Just like each musician adds value to a melodic symphony orchestra, as does an employee who is actively engaged in a collaborative company culture. Unfortunately, however, a recent Gallup poll summed that 72% of employees are disengaged. Internal collaboration is an anecdote to this bleak statistic.
Ken Butler has been with Atlanta based Kemira Chemical since June, 2011, and was promoted this past June to Assistant Team Lead for Kemira’s Oil and Mining segment. He recently shared his thoughts with me on the benefits of internal collaboration. “A good definition of internal collaboration consists of different teams and/or departments coming together to accomplish goals that better serve our customers.” He stated.
This is the same point that Jacob Morgan makes in his book, The Collaborative Organization. Morgan points out that. “In chess, one of the key strategies in the opening is to control the center. But which pieces should be used to make this happen? Who in the organization needs to be involved in the discussion and strategy to make sure the collaboration initiative is successful?” Morgan writes.
Internal collaboration is one of the leading factors to not only departmental success, but organizational success as a whole. Ken has experienced internal collaboration up close and personal. As a member of the NA customer service team, his position interfaces with varying departments. A few months ago Ken had a chance to shadow one of these departments. He spent a day with members of Kemira’s NA Accounts Receivable department.
Ken thought this time would be a benefit to both departments. “We work closely with A/R, and I wanted to get some insight on their processes. I also wanted to see how errors made on the CSR side can affect A/R. I felt that if we had at least a vague idea of what other departments do on a daily basis that could help us all be more diligent when processing sales orders. “He said.
Ken believes that working with A/R and getting to know their processes better helped not only his department but both facets of Kemira.“ Cross training with A/R helped me with knowing what is important to other departments and their daily goals. Also, it was beneficial to see where each department fits within the lifecycle of the sales orders that my team processes."
Ken feels that internal collaboration can help his department in the long run. He states, “I believe that the only way that Kemira Customer Service can be successful is working closely with multiple departments. Since we touch so many parts of the business, I feel that is a requirement to have the flexibility and also good working relationships with every department.”