Creating Collaborative Culture cover image

Creating Collaborative Culture

Unlock your Teams Creativity!

updated almost 3 years ago

What is Collaborative Culture?

Most organizations fall somewhere between Happy Honey Bees and Swarm of murder hornets.

Collaborative Culture features 2 key principles for Happy Honey Bees:

  1. Ideas are celebrated! (Especially the ridiculous ones.)
  2. Ideas are welcome! (Irrespective of any title or role.)

Why Collaborative Culture?

My favorite case for Collaborative Culture is the unlikely story about a janitor, his billion-dollar idea, and the CEO who listened.

When PepsiCo’s CEO, Roger Enrico, implored his employees to “act like an owner,” few employees took him seriously. Not Richard Montañez. He knew there was an untapped market for spicy snacks. So, he called the CEO’s number (from the company directory) and asked for a meeting. Due to some fortuitous confusion, they set up the meeting thinking it was with the regional Plant Manager. The Plant Manager was understandably a bit surprised to hear about the upcoming pitch meeting, and after some choice words, the Plant Manager told Montañez it was his chance to sink or swim - and never pull a stunt like that again.

After that meeting (and plenty of hard work), Montañez was ascendant, eventually becoming a VP of Sales, generating billions for PepsiCo.

Great ideas & inspiration can come from anyone, anywhere, and anytime!

To succeed long-term, work culture must embrace this!

Next Steps

First, take stock of where things are. Spend a few moments to consider some questions:

  • What % of the organization shares ideas?
  • How quickly do new hires propose ideas?
  • How often?

More personally:

  • What’s the last idea that a colleague brought to you?
  • How did you respond? Did you empower them? Did you take the time to listen? And give them credit?
  • Do colleagues feel comfortable bringing you their next idea?

Stay tuned! My next article is about the processes and habits that fuel Collaborative Culture in your organization!