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What if the secret to successful collaboration isn’t about winning?

In the new podcast episode of Collaboration Global’s “Being Human Hidden Depths”, Gill Tiney and I have a conversation in which I share my experiences in mediation and Aikido, and how these have informed the work I do with leaders and their teams. Both “on the martial arts mat” and in the boardroom, we perform […]

Leaders: If you want to improve your team’s performance–become a better customer

If you lead a team or organization, you’re a Customer. And if you want to dramatically improve your team’s performance, you need to become a better Customer. Knowing more, having a more compelling vision, or being more charismatic are all great leadership attributes, but they’re not enough to transform and sustain your team’s performance. Sustained […]

Want Your Team to Execute Better? Get Personal

An article in Unspoken Rules of Leadership, October 20, 2023 by Grayson James In this article, Grayson goes into detail about how good organizational execution is never simply a rational or analytical endeavor, but is always driven by personal commitment–one human being making a promise to another. Recognizing this, and understanding how to make and […]

Execution is about Promises

I was working recently with a leadership team in a tech company that is the dominant player in its market and is facing some major challenges in 2024. The team recognizes it needs to really up its game—particularly its execution. I told the team that execution is all about promises. Personal promises with clear outcomes […]

Stop trying to change your colleagues. (It doesn’t work.)

A central tenet in my work with leaders and their teams is that we, ourselves, are where the real action is whenever we’re working with other people. This applies regardless of our role or seniority in the organization. When folks hear this, I get many different responses, including: “Wait, isn’t that kind of self-centered—don’t we […]

Collaboration isn’t just about getting along—it’s about performance.

Collaboration is about much more than simply getting along with your colleagues. It’s about creating value and performing well together. In the podcast “Connect, Collaborate, Champion!” published by New American Colleges and Universities (NACU), we explore what collaboration is really about–and how to actually do it better. In increasingly diverse workplaces, how do we collaborate […]

We all know what works in organizational collaboration…

Yet, even we know what works, why does great collaboration still elude us, especially when the stakes are high, or emotions run hot? There’s a subtle paradox at play that often gets overlooked: although collaboration is inherently about working with 𝑜𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑠, the success of our collaboration hinges on how we’re working with 𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑣𝑒𝑠. In the […]

Fast Company Article by Grayson James – October 20, 2023

3 Essential Types of Conversations Managers Should HaveWith Their People There are three types of conversations that every leader must master. These conversations aren’t just an exchange of words—they engage people’s imagination, commitment, energy, and intention. In this article in Fast Company, I describe each of these types of conversations and share some common pitfalls […]

Collaboration is more about you than about the people you’re collaborating with

When I tell new teams that “collaboration is more about you than about the people you’re collaborating with,” I always get questions like: “If collaboration is all about working with other people, shouldn’t we be more focused on them than on ourselves?” Or, “Isn’t it selfish to focus on ourselves when we should really be […]

Setting Your Intent for Effective Collaboration

If you could go back in time to replay some of your most difficult interactions that didn’t go so well, you might notice that although you may have been behaving skillfully—making good eye contact, active listening, using respectful words, etc., your 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 in those interactions may have been unclear or conflicted. That’s what Gabe, a […]