A fundamental part of social business is encouraging employees to group together to solve problems. It’s a fantastic theory, but alas is not a new one, with it also playing a fundamental part of knowledge management since the 80’s.
That sharing knowledge and helping colleagues is not the norm after such an extended period of time underlies the difficult challenges we face in overcoming the long history of individualised behaviours in our organisations.
It is often said that if you can change behaviours, attitudes inevitably follow, so something to perhaps try is to encourage people to devote one day per month to do nothing but help their colleagues.
A nice tool to support this is the reciprocity ring. Developed by Humax Networks, it involves people gathering together and openly sharing a problem they’re currently facing. It is the job of the group then to come together to help them solve that problem.
Of course, in an ideal world such interactions would take place all the time, but we have a long history of obstacles to overcome, such as the difficulties we often have in admitting we need help, or the reward systems geared towards individual rather than collective performance. So running such an initiative once per month is a fairly low cost way of ingratiating a spirit of collaboration in your organisation.