March 19, 2014
Collaboration at HMA provides the scaffolding that not only spreads out the workload, but also paves the way for increased brainpower and greater creativity. A collaborative work environment allows us to learn from one another and pool our resources and skills, leading to increased productivity and a portfolio of successful projects.
Our open office space is designed to encourage impromptu and planned interactions among small and large groups. We can come together throughout the work day for those off-the-cuff creative moments, as well as the full-blown brainstorming sessions.
Even when taxed with this year’s winter weather when we found ourselves working from home, we pushed forward, accessing each other through Jabber, our instant messaging system, assigning work through our project management system, Workamajig, and conducting client conference calls and interviews using WebEx.
When we come together as a team to create, our diverse perspectives help break down stagnant and insular thinking. We help each other trigger ideas for new concepts and problem solving. Like a good dinner party where many different personalities are free to mingle, the conversation and thought-process is lively and engaging for everyone.
A recent blog post by Katie, one of HMA’s account executives, offers a good example of an HMA collaborative effort. Katie came up with the original idea for the post and invited each of us to share our creative process with her. After she collected our responses, which came in a variety of formats, e.g., a comic strip, a Haiku Deck, drawings and a hand-made puzzle, she then enlisted Jason, our interactive designer, to produce the graphic that accompanied her post. This glimpse we got of each other’s creative styles will not only help strengthen the way we work together in the future, but her idea itself proved to be an exercise in collaboration.
As a team learns to collaborate, it can carry this momentum forward and offer a sense of partnership to clients. We become an extension of our client’s team and work in collaboration with them, building trust and a solid rapport for future projects.
Still wondering about the value of collaboration? Take a look at the following advantages and then decide:
- Sharing ideas and playing off of one another’s brainstorming increases your company’s levels of creativity and productivity, in addition to each individual’s
- A variety of skills and strengths promotes a sense of group ownership—the team wants the project to succeed and consequently individuals don’t want to let others down
- This in turn, increases employee retention overall—encouraging the “we’re part of something larger than ourselves” approach
- Collaboration enables the seemingly impossible to be accomplished—a concerted effort allows even the most challenging job to be tackled
- Working together enhances morale and builds working relationships which in turn enables greater collaboration with clients
So, tell us what collaboration looks like in your workplace. Are you a fan, or do you think collaboration presents too many conflicting approaches and personality collisions?