Living Our Values
Collaborating as One University
Ohio State’s ability to collaborate across many disciplines is what uniquely positions this university for success as no other; its unmatched comprehensiveness can enable this institution to solve problems of world-wide significance. Yet to reach that potential, everyone must collaborate, and bring together the knowledge and talents from across the university.
The success of collaboration is often seen at the team level, but it begins with individuals. At Ohio State, collaboration is defined as developing relationships across the university, openly sharing information, seeking input from people with different backgrounds and perspectives, and thinking creatively about challenges and issues.
Focusing on collaboration may be new for some – the higher education environment isn’t one that necessarily promotes collaboration (for example, faculty rewards are based on individual performance). But collaboration enhances individual performance, which then increases team results. It also facilitates creativity, and new approaches are needed to advance the well-being of Ohioans and the global community.
Tips to increase focus on Collaborating as One University include:
- Align work with larger goals. Understand how individual responsibilities contribute to the goals of the work group, college/unit, and the university to identify those who are dependent upon each individual’s work, and uncover additional opportunities for collaboration.
- Seek opportunities to collaborate. Identify opportunities to collaborate on a regular basis by regularly seeking out different opinions, thinking about how individual work affects others, and sharing ideas with colleagues to help others look at things in a new way.
- Avoid the “It’s always been done it that way” trap. Look for new approaches to common problems, or long-term projects. Review the purpose and goals, and what is and is not working well. Ask these questions of others with different roles, filters, and expertise to gather a variety of input.
- Persevere when faced with challenge. Ask at least one more person for input when a roadblock arises and it appears every possible solution has been considered. This increases creativity and uncovers new possibilities, leading to the best solution.
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