Project Management

Contributing To Collaborative Leadership

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have all heard a lot about collaboration—collaborative work management tools, remote collaboration techniques, the need for greater collaboration in virtual teams, etc. It’s all perfectly valid, and any project manager who can encourage their team to become more collaborative will likely improve the likelihood of success of their projects.

However, there is one universal truth when it comes to changing how people work together (at least if it’s going to stick): Change has to start at the top.

As more industries and organizations return to an operating model that is at least closer to that which existed pre-pandemic, there is an increasing risk that many of the positive changes in how people work will be lost—and work will revert to the old way of doing things.

I have no doubt that project managers will want to maintain collaboration, and they may well be successful in some situations depending on the makeup of teams, the nature of the work, etc. But if collaborative leadership is going to be the preferred style across entire organizations, then it requires those top leaders to practice it themselves—and to encourage it in each of their areas.

That means that project managers are going to be exposed to collaborative leadership “from above” (for want of a better term)—they’ll be …

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