Collaboration in a Crisis

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Last month’s Harvard Business Review published an essay offering seven strategies for promoting collaboration in a crisis. Authors Heidi Gardner (a professor at Harvard Law School) and Ivan Matviak (a financier) propose that collaboration is especially meaningful at a moment of crisis because it allows one to plot strategic gains. The collaborative effort of a group of experts, according to the authors, taps new directions and insights while potentially shoring up existing structures. And while collaboration may seem counterintuitive in a moment of crisis, they present seven strategies that help actuate a move toward collaboration.

The seven strategies run the gamut of ideas and include advice like: “Encourage naïve questions and constructive challenge.” The authors argue, from their previous experience, that dissent in a constructive fashion is important to stress test ideas. If the collaborative group you have assembled is sufficiently diverse then the dissent process can produce powerful insight. The authors similarly suggest evaluating how people work and what their “comfort zones” might be in a time of crisis. Knowing how people work can help with adjusting to stress during a crisis. Together, the essay provides a powerful tool for navigating unprecedented times.

To read the essay, click here