The third habit of inclusion: Cooperation

In the last two blog-post, I described the first two habits of inclusion. fairness and  openness. The principle of inclusion is also related to the capacity of companies to foster cooperation. This habit is primordial for teamwork which is usually part of companies daily life. The levels of cooperation required depends on the employee's tasks. Eastern culture are more individualistic in the sense that everyone is responsible for his own success or failure which can push some of us to be uncooperative. We usually see win-lose prevail and again it depends on the company culture. In this regard developing more cooperative companies may be a challenge because we face cultural mindset and habits. Habits that originated from the culture we live in can be difficult to change because we usually lack the distance to see our own discrepancies. I found it easier to understand the french culture after living abroad, for example. Awareness is always the first step to start a process of change.


A. A definition of cooperation

It is important to agree on what we understand under cooperation before going forward. Dictionaries are our best friends when it come to define a word and we can use our intellect, past experiences, culture and a good discussion in order to elaborate a definition that sounds right to us, to the company. Here is the definition of the oxford dictionary :"The action or process of working together to the same end:" This definition when taken at the company level implies that employees have the same goal and that they take action or follow a process together to achieve it. What does it mean to you? What is your company goal? What are the actions or processes that employees can take to achieve the company's goal?

It is a good idea to sit down with your colleagues and define what cooperation is and how it should look like in your company. If you see people work against each other then you really need to sit down and ask yourself what brought them to be hostile with one another. There are many more reasons for a lack of cooperation one of them is the lack of a clear vision or policies that do not foster cooperation. Employees of your company must know why they are working and see that cooperation is rewarded. No more individual prime for success for example. Otherwise, they start to run in different direction and try to get more rewards for themselves. Cooperation cannot arise when people do not have a common sense of what is expected from them.

B. How can we create a more cooperative workplace?

Cooperation arise when people forget about their individuality and start to care for the greater goal and you can do that by developing policies that encourage and reward cooperation. The result of all our efforts is greater than the sum of our individuality. It is really truth that together we are stronger because we are divers and face the same situation with different mindsets and solutions. We can bring our energy together to move those mountains, fly to the moon... 

After an accident people will rise together to save the victims. The aim is clear: save as much people as possible. We forget about our differences and diverging opinions. We focus on now and how to save them. All big movements are made of people believing in the same future and feeling rewarded for it. This common goal is the basis of all further actions. Companies can hope for the same bound to exist between their employees. Their effort is to create a compelling Vision and policies that call the attention and hearts of their employees. The selection of employees is also a big part of companies success. You want to have employees who believe that your vision is achievable and get motivated by your incentives. You want employees whose aspiration is to achieve your vision. You need diversity in cooperation so that as many solutions as possible are generated until cooperation fuels your company to success. 


The five habits of inclusive companies: 


  1. THE FIRST HABIT OF INCLUSION IN THE WORKPLACE: FAIRNESS
  2. THE SECOND HABIT OF INCLUSION: OPENNESS
  3. THE THIRD HABIT OF INCLUSION: COOPERATION
  4. THE 4TH HABIT OF INCLUSION: SUPPORT
  5. THE 5TH HABIT OF INCLUSION: Employee empowerment

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