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Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Team Collaboration for Results

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Collaboration and ability to collaborate effectively are important skills for today’s organizations as well as in the future. In rapidly changing environments, innovative partnerships, collaboration and diversity are all keys to staying in business and developing new ways of thinking. Many of these new partnerships will be atypical where collaborative capabilities come to the fore. Atypical means that we do not necessarily know with whom we will collaborate because networks arise from needs and changes in the variety of environments. This means that tolerance, and the ability to tolerate and work with uncertainty and difference, are keys to agile team members.

One inevitable law of teams is that they are made up of different people. As we are all different, there is no way to escape this certainty which is the main reason for misunderstandings, costs, unproductive behaviors, and losses – just to mention a few. Diversity and differences, whether due to language, nationality, ethnicity, age, gender, and position all bring in diversity of challenges – but also the chance of creating new ways of thinking, acting and collaborating.

Teams are an integral part of a modern organization. Research has shown that most teams need space and time to ‘jell’. However, in the modern, fast-paced organizational world this is not always possible. Teams are often virtual with limited face-to-face time, have a wide variety of people in them, change and regroup often with stressful and tight schedules. Therefore, examining what makes a team collaborate effectively is the key to reducing unnecessary stresses and freeing potential to engage with the task in hand.


The programme will involve exploration and practice around how we can use and leverage the diversity of teams to avoid a potential negative and instead create a positive result for real added value. Through a combination of fact-based results of research on team behaviors, and the opportunity for each individual to make valuable self-discoveries, we will guide and encourage participants to examine their current approach to team collaboration, and develop different insights and behaviors to bring about a step-change in collaborative results.

We will examine:

  • How to create a team in which people continuously develop
  • The neuroscientific basis that shows the roots of difficulties in managing diversity
  • The major emotions caused by difference and how we can manage them
  • The major differences people experience when business practices are involved
  • How to create a sense of belonging
  • How to increase collaboration
  • The ability to lead change
  • The awareness to link activities, culture management, profit & loss
  • Ways to focus on adaptability to a constantly changing context.

We will take a multi-faceted approach in order to open participants’ eyes to the advantages of leading or collaborating with teams in a way which incorporates the capability or reading into people’s minds, developing empathy, flexibility, understanding of differences, together with team management approaches. Based on our knowledge of neuroscience, we believe that while the traditional approach can bring structure to team-collaboration, it is the understanding and application of an empathetic approach that allows team members to bring their diverse visions, creativity and insight to work, building fruitful and helpful relationships that nurture the ability to achieve unexpected and rewarding results for the whole team.


During this programme we will explore the many aspects of ‘difference’, and how the innate differences of each team member can affect team results, for good or for bad. We will look at social, psychological and intercultural studies to give participants a wide overview of difference; teams today comprise people of different age, gender, socio-economic and geographic origin, each with their own outlook and expectations. Starting from the viewpoint of what it means to be different, we will take a look at the neurosciences to gain an insight into why it is so difficult to manage a diverse team, and the application of a specific 3-step process to manage difference for effective collaboration, flexibility and adaptability.

Through the presentation and analysis of quantitative data, we will look at how difficulties due to difference manifest themselves in teams. In many cases, failure to achieve the desired outcomes is not recognized as being due to a breakdown in team behavior, but is blamed on other factors.

From an experiential perspective, we will guide participants to a deeper understanding of how they can adapt and manage their own collaborative interactions, and encourage such adaptability in their teams. This work will involve exercises, case studies and hands-on assignments that focus on a number of crucial areas for team leaders and team members to build self-awareness and a foundation for change, also using practical qualitative measurements to manage the roots of change.

One significant area of focus will be the management of emotions linked to difference, both from the perspective of the team leader and the team member. Acknowledging and managing one’s own emotional response is an important responsibility for a leader. And the ability to spot an unexpected emotional response in a team member and its possible triggers is a crucial skill, depending on accurate observation skills regarding verbal and non-verbal communication, followed by appropriate dialogue. Bringing this all together, we will look at how a better understanding of difference can be leveraged to create a new style of business.

Who should attend

This programme is targeted towards executives in a managerial role who either work in teams or are responsible for teams. It is recommended that participants have at least five years of managerial experience to be able to appreciate the nuances of interpersonal dynamics.


Dr. Sari Mattila received her Ph.D. degree from Tampere University of Technology in the field of Management and OB/HR after an integrated Master's Degree in Philosophy from the University of Joensuu (now part of the University of Eastern Finland). She has previously taught at IIM-A, Institute of ...
Dr Raffaella Bossi Fornarini has a Master’s degree in Modern Literature from Universitá Statale di Milano, and management qualifications from the Sorbonne, the London Business School at Regent’s College, the University of Pacific - Oregon, and SDA Bocconi and MIP Politecnico di Milano, among othe...


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