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Does Organizational Resilience Kill?

According to a McKinsey paper Collaboration Overload does. And Organizational Resilience is a lot about collaboration between different parties, departments, units, people! So, does it?

Let us understand little more based on the paper:

Covid-19 Pandemic has added a lot to the collaboration overload – multiple channels have emerged or become more prominent – slack, zoom, email, phone, skype, teams, webex to name a few.

When the negative impacts of work from home during Covid-19 Pandemic were realized, many gratitude applications were implemented to keep employees motivated and engaged (‘collaboration’ does not necessarily mean ‘engaged’).

According to the paper, people were spending 85% of their time on phone, mail, and in meetings, before Covid-19 Pandemic. This is now much higher – simply because people are working extra-long hours – and that’s collaboration overload.

More meetings mean more exhaustion – not necessarily more collaboration / productivity or quality.

The paper puts a very high cost to collaboration overload:

  • Those who collaborate well get back 18 – 24 percent of their time, if an organization loses on this – it loses on Innovation as well (which is part of Organizational Resilience)

  • The ‘big resignation’ can also be contributed to collaboration overload (they will measure it as the cost of acquiring talent. But they will forget that if they make 10 other people’s lives 5 percent harder for next 6 months, until they find a replacement, there is a real cost to that economically. It can be much bigger than the human-capital piece of it)

  • Mental health has been impacted highly

The paper also attempts to address the issue:

  • There is no single pill to fix it

  • The ages old principle of planning ahead – the day-the week-the month-the quarter

  • Avoid the tendency to jump in when you shouldn’t

  • Build these practices into your teams as well

And the next big challenge is ‘how to utilize the time that you save by collaborating better’. The suggestion is to go around and say ‘how could we work together, from different functions, different capabilities, different geographies’.

So, while concluding we would say that collaboration doesn’t kill Organizational Resilience – the need is to collaborate better and be resilient.

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