7 Strategies for Promoting Collaboration in a Crisis

by Heidi K. Gardner and Ivan Matviak July 08, 2020


Commentary by John Brokaw

While states continue to announce their plans to reopen for business, it seems clear that most offices will be operating with reduced onsite staffing at least through the end of the year, even in states where the pandemic has been brought under control. As employees continue to work from home, they may experience "threat rigidity" and a "go-it-alone mentality," both counter-productive to their personal and organizational successes.

As an antidote, this article from Harvard Business Review provides advice for collaboration written by and based on a study by Heidi Gardner and Ivan Matviak, co-founders of the research and advisory firm Gardner & Co. The authors suggest seven strategies supported by a decade's worth of data drawn from the legal, financial, and health care sectors, among others. They illustrate the benefits of these strategies with an example of comparative revenue growth or decline, dependent on levels of collaboration, among several groups of partners at a global law firm.

As many professionals deal with the challenges of working conditions imposed by the pandemic, the authors present a convincing argument that a strong commitment to collaboration across disciplines will help to ensure that the organization will survive the crisis and thrive in its aftermath.