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When collaboration fails, you fail!

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in Career Management,Management Training

After last year’s salmonella outbreak, in which thousands of consumers became ill after eating contaminated eggs, a billion of them were pulled from stores.

Much of the blame was attributed to poor federal oversight and lack of coordination across federal agencies.

Responsibility for food safety was split between two agencies: The Department of Agriculture was responsible for chickens, the grading of eggs for quality, and regulating liquid eggs that are used in industrial food production. But the Food & Drug Administration oversaw the safety of eggs still in their shells.

So who inspected the Iowa farms to make sure the eggs were safe for human consumption? No one.

It’s a prime example of what happens when there’s a lack of coordination and collaboration across an organization.

Mobile phone maker Nokia suffered from the same lack of collaboration. Had it not, we might all be using Nokia smartphones today instead of iPhones.

Five years before Apple introduced the iPhone and three years before it launched an online application store, once-dominant Nokia was ready to introduce its own Internet-ready touch screen handset with a large display.

Instead, the innovative ideas fell victim to in-fighting among managers who had competing objectives. Collaboration fell by the wayside. As a result, Nokia wasn’t able to improve its proprietary operating system, Symbian, which would have allowed it to support a more sophisticated smartphone.

And Apple swooped in with its life-changing iPhone.

Lesson: Execution is the real bottom line. Only 36% of leaders who think their company has an “execution gap” are confident in their organization’s ability to close the gap between strategy and execution.

— Adapted from Closing the Execution Gap: How Great Leaders and Their Companies Get Results, Rick Lepsinger.

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