We all seek more collaboration at work, or at least better collaboration.

This is the kind of collaboration where you realize that the work that was produced could not possibly have been done had each member of the team approached it alone. The kind of collaboration that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Where each individual is felt respected, heard, and their ideas valued, even if disagreed with. Where principals are discussed openly, ideas fought for fiercely, and action is taken.

 
 

This perfect recipe of teamwork, however, remains elusive for most organizations, and unfortunately is the exception much more than the rule. 

As I’ve taken many clients through Holacracy implementations, I’ve learned that two of the meta-accountabilities of Holacracy are intellectual honesty and self-awareness; and these two qualities are instrumental to an essential aspect of collaboration: integration.

Integration is not compromise; it is when there are two ideas or thoughts for moving forward that are in conflict. And instead of finding an action that takes some of both paths in order to compromise, we dig deeper to the root of these ideas, the tensions or needs behind them, and instead find a third path that equally addresses both needs without compromising either.


It is important to learn to let go of our proposals in Holacracy, and it is equally important to not let go of our tensions.

Tensions are the driving force of the organization and the work, if we don’t pay attention to them the work stops, and if we ignore our tensions we will miss important data and the organization will suffer for it. If we, however, hold the paradox of fidelity to our tensions but flexibility with our proposals, we will see collaboration done like never before.


If you want to know more about Holacracy and how it can help strengthen collaboration, download our guide to culture and process, we'd love to talk with you!