In your business, are you using the power of collaboration to its full potential? In this video, I share with you the value of collaboration and why you should strongly nurture a culture of collaboration.
Collaboration creates a synergy of everyone’s skills, experience, and ideas. It brings people closer together, creating a working rhythm that allows the team to solve problems and achieve goals.
But if it’s so great, why aren’t more teams collaborating?
Let’s take Apple as an example. The company is known for its culture of intense secrecy. That’s because they want to keep their new products under wraps before it is launched to the public. They take great lengths to protecting information.
However, this comes at the expense of open collaboration. By keeping information among project team members, they lose the opportunity of working with others who, through their skills, experience, and ideas, may contribute in helping solve problems through providing a different point of view. The lack of collaboration prevents them from framing a problem differently, and finding an alternative solution, perhaps something more appropriate, more effective, or even more cost-effective.
This all changed when a team in Apple decided to change things up in the development AirPods Pro. Deciding to take a more collaborative and less secretive process proved exactly why collaborating is key to developing better products and better solutions.
How did they develop the AirPods Pro?
The approach they used involved Apple’s human resources. Apple’s intense level of secrecy usually result in internal conflict. This culture of secrecy created a pressure chamber in teams, resulting in infighting and engineers getting stuck and not being able to find help because they signed NDAs. Pressure inevitably builds when you are not allowed to consult or find support from people outside of your team.
Because of this, HR was often called in to resolve friction in Apple’s teams involved in developing products. In looking for a long-term and sustainable solution for this problem, an HR team in Apple discovered that Apple engineers working on camera technology were having a better time managing their challenges than everyone else because they were sharing ideas. They thought, what if we use this approach in the development of the AirPods Pro?
And they did!
The end result was one of the best earbuds in the market today. But that’s not all—Apple receive a lot more than what they bargained for. What emerged was an approach they can replicate for all their future projects. This collaborative approach, which they call The Camera Braintrust allowed teams to work more openly and more collaboratively, which drove higher quality results—better than the quality that Apple was used to offering.
The approach focused on open communication and transparency. Teams and team leaders attend weekly cross-staff transparency sessions where they share the challenges they faced that week and how they resolved it or how they planned to resolve it. By sharing these experiences, teams learn from each other. There was no need to reinvent a wheel that already existed—all they needed to do was find out how the other teams were using the same wheel to enhance their performance, to solve problems, and to develop impressive products.
This is the power and value of collaboration. We lose out when we don’t share information. We nurture trust, grow, and perform better when we collaborate and work together.