Smart Collaboration

Organizations earn higher margins, inspire greater customer loyalty, produce more innovative work, and attract and retain the best talent when specialists engage in Smart Collaboration across boundaries.

Companies can gain a powerful competitive edge by getting specialized experts to work together across organizational and geographic boundaries.  But the costs and risks of collaboration are immediately apparent, whereas the benefits accrue slowly.  Further, the 'stars' have built their reputation doing individualistic work question whether collaboration really pays off.  Research with dozens of organizations and thousands of professionals empirically demonstrates the commercial and talent-related value of Smart Collaboration—for individuals and companies.  Our case studies and research show how to make the case for collaboration in your organization and how to achieve those outcomes.  We also delve into the dark side of collaboration and explore ways for leaders and workers to handle an 'over-committed organization.'

Smart Collaboration
Publications
Webinar: Leading Remote Teams Effectively

Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, most companies were already suffering from the dark side of collaboration: over-committed organizations, with people stretched thin across multiple teams and projects at once. Now with the shock of coronavirus, leaders need strategies to help their teams stay focused on preserving business momentum while working from home. In this webinar you will learn how to:

  • Adapt the 'Four Ms' of leading over-committed teams—measure, map, manage and motivate—to remote work
  • Handle the new and competing tasks that this emergency will generate across the business
  • Combat the tendency for stress to increase stereotyping and bias, which undermine diversity efforts and dampen team morale
  • Make the new environment familiar with simple, practical tactics to help team members make sense of each other's behavior

Source: Harvard Business Publishing
Year: 2020
Link: https://www.harvardbusiness.org/insight/leading-remote-teams-effectively-webinar-recording/

Webinar: Leading Remote Teams Effectively
Podcast: Smart collaboration – a conversation with Heidi Gardner

In this episode, we're delighted to speak with Heidi Gardner about smart collaboration – a term she coined to talk about how we need highly-specialised experts to come together tackle more complicated issues than any of them could do on their own.

Source: LOD

Year: 2020

Link: https://lodcast.simplecast.com/episodes/remote-working

Podcast: Smart collaboration – a conversation with Heidi Gardner
Podcast: Remote Working

This episode focuses on how lawyers and other knowledge workers can work remotely – and effectively. We speak with three experts: Dr Heidi Gardner, Assistant Professor Ella Hafermalz and LOD co-founder Simon Harper.

Source: LOD

Year: 2020

Link: https://lodcast.simplecast.com/episodes/remote-working

 

Podcast: Remote Working
When Senior Managers Won't Collaborate

Complex problems require professionals to provide cross-disciplinary solutions—that is, smart collaboration. By taking steps to shift the culture and structure, leaders can unlock clear, long-term benefits: higher margins, stronger client loyalty, increased competitive edge.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Year: March 2015

Link: http://bit.ly/32nCRfi

Gardner & Co
Money on the Table

Cross-practice collaboration can provide significant revenue uplift: our benchmarks suggest that most firms could increase revenues by 5 to 12 percent by shifting their portfolio of service. This article outlines how firms can interrogate their existing data and take other actions to capture the benefits.

Source: The American Lawyer

Year: October 2018

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Getting Your Stars to Collaborate

Capture better business outcomes by promoting the flow of know-how and resources across internal boundaries.  Lessons from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute show how leaders can guide powerful, iconic practitioners toward cross-specialty area collaboration. 

Source: Harvard Business Review

Year: January 2017

Link: http://bit.ly/2JRtNIU

Gardner & Co
Michael Clark at Regency Consulting Partners

Clark is a fast-rising, star partner in his consulting firm who suddenly finds himself with an irate client. The case uncovers the core tensions of the 'producer-manager' dilemma, the effects of performance pressure on teams, and the short- and long-term impact of smart (cross-silo) collaboration.

Year: May 2011

Link: https://s.hbr.org/2JQoA4a

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Why it Pays to Collaborate

Law firms gain higher margins, increase client loyalty, access more lucrative clients, and perform more complex work through smart collaboration. This article lays out why lawyers resist collaboration, and what firm leaders must do to foster it.

Source: The American Lawyer

Year: March 2015

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When and Why Clients Want you to Collaborate

What are the top ten reasons that clients value a team approach? Firms that understand what clients value, and can get their lawyers to collaborate to deliver it, are better off financially and strategically.

Source: The American Lawyer

Year: June 2016

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Seeking Collaboration at Carter and Boyd

Through a series of vignettes, this case study highlights the behavioral, cultural and structural barriers professional services firms must overcome to expand client relationships and build more institutional clients. The debate it sparks leads to productive problem solving.

Source: Harvard Law School

Year: March 2016

Link: http://bit.ly/2PMUXo8

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How to Capture Value from Collaboration, Especially if You're Skeptical About It

Collaboration is regularly misunderstood as a leadership style or act of 'cross-selling,' or used as the answer to everything. It often feels inefficient, risky, low value and political. Clarity on the true meaning of collaboration, and first-hand experience with collaborative projects is the only way to combat these common apprehensions.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Year: May 2017

Link: http://bit.ly/2JQaS1e

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Case Study: Ganging up on Cancer: Integrative Research Centers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

How can leaders foster collaboration in an environment that has historically celebrated individual achievement? The case reveals some dramatic failures, and examines ways to motivate 'stars' to undertake collaborative work.

Source: Harvard Business School

Year: January 2012

Links:
https://s.hbr.org/2oP99C7

https://s.hbr.org/2NHzuKD

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Collaborating for Growth: Duane Morris in a Turbulent Legal Sector

When confronting a financial downturn, attorneys in one firm wonder whether its collaborative culture can withstand the pressure. This case outlines how a transparent and data-driven compensation system, rewards for attorneys who shared client work, rigorous hiring standards, cross-office practice integration, and other initiatives promote cross-silo collaboration.  But is it enough to sustain the culture?

Source: Harvard Business School

Year: April 2014

Link: https://store.hbr.org/product/collaborating-for-growth-duane-morris-in-a-turbulent-legal-sector/414022?sku=414022-PDF-ENG

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Collaborating Well in Large Global Teams

Geographically dispersed advisors and cross-border experts must integrate knowledge to solve sophisticated problems. But how can they avoid the common pitfalls of the us vs. them mentality and mistrust-based friction stemming from their lack of mutual understanding?

Source: Harvard Business Review

Year: July 2015

Link: http://bit.ly/collaborating-legal-teams

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How to get People to Collaborate When You Don't Control Their Salary

Changing people's behavior without changing either the compensation or the promotion system – is that even possible? Research conducted in a highly constrained reward system setting offers recommendations to help leaders boost cross-silo collaboration without changing the organizational structure.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Year: January 2017

Link: http://bit.ly/collaborate-control-salary

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Collaborating Better Across Silos

In this 20-minute podcast, Dr. Gardner discusses how firms gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across functional boundaries. But it's often difficult, expensive, and messy.

Event: Harvard Business Review Ideacast

Year: January 2017

Link: http://bit.ly/better-silos

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Smart Collaboration

Dr. Gardner outlines the fundamentals of Smart Collaboration and the hard evidence of what it is and what it is not. She highlights the common barriers and, if overcome, the potential business outcomes.

Event: Harvard Law School Library Book Talk

Year: 2017

Link: https://youtu.be/cRFs0F4SCiE

Gardner & Co
Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos

The HLS panel jointly tackles the question of 'How to get professionals to collaborate more effectively'? Dr. Gardner speaks about her research on Smart Collaboration, and the science underpinning it. She concludes that Smart Collaboration is not a choice but rather a business necessity for the organization.

Event: Harvard Law School Library Book Talk – panel discussion

Link:  https://youtu.be/PYkHSaqLyxg

Year: 2017

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How to Break Down Silos in Your Organization?

Summary: In this Whiteboard Session, Dr. Gardner outlines the business case and talent-related rationale for Smart Collaboration. She also outlines the obstacles, and recommends specific and tactical steps to get started.

Event: Harvard Business Review Whiteboard Sessions, Facebook Live

Year: July 2018

Link: https://www.facebook.com/HBR/videos/how-to-break-down-silos-in-your-organization/10154738103152787/

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The 3 Myths of Collaboration

In the 42-minute video session, Dr. Gardner busts the 3 biggest myths about collaboration. She also discusses how smart collaboration is a way to overcome over-teaming.

Event: Harvard Business Review WhiteBoard Sessions, Facebook Live

Year: July 2018

Link: http://bit.ly/three-myths

Gardner & Co