Collaboration Tips for Corporate Learning

Collaboration at work is one of those things we intuitively know will lead to quicker, more innovative, and higher quality solutions. And yet it's really tough to do. I got to thinking about this recently as our corporate learning & development team was honored with a "Learning in Practice" award from Chief Learning Officer magazine (a big congratulations to our fellow Bright Horizons winners from EdAssist, too). This particular award was for the use of technology in training. And it could not have happened without the effort, thought leadership, and capabilities of both of our training organizations: the one which primarily supports our operations group, and my team, which focuses on corporate training and provides central OD and L&D services like our corporate university and video trainings.

How To's: Collaboration Between Corporate Learning & Other Departments

There's no single secret to successful workplace collaboration. But, there are four things you can do to really help move it along.

Put company goals before the department's

There's often a grey area between who's responsible for what, and we can waste a lot of time letting that dictate what gets done. Instead, determine the right person for the job by identifying who has the energy and the vision to make something happen fast.

Embrace different work styles

It's easy to feel less inclined to work with another group because of small things: for example, their email style (maybe it's more abrupt than yours), or their differing sense of urgency. We need to get past these differences to benefit from the larger wins of cross-functional collaboration.

Solicit fresh thinking on projects

I was meeting with a cross-functional team recently regarding a new training program we're offering. We had a great program planned, but the proverbial frosting on the cake was the suggestion from one of the members of our marketing team about how we could incorporate a visual and kinetic element to the training (no surprise that this idea came from marketing!). Honestly, we wouldn't have thought of this on our own, and it added a fun new element to the entire experience.

Check all egos at the door

I once had an employee who wanted to make sure we were given credit for every project we worked on. It took her a few false starts to realize that this in fact builds animosity and competition. Quietly and modestly doing a good job is what ensures repeat business, certainly in our culture.

Working collaboratively takes deliberate effort to keep people in the loop, seek out new partners, and focus on the benefits of diverse thinking. But in the end, all of the time spent will be amply rewarded.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands

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