Impact of collaborative leadership on performance

Collaborative leadership is not ‘taking power over’ people but taking power with people.
Employees are our most valuable asset, and if we want to see our profitability increase we will have to let go of our traditional command and control management style and adopt a collaborative leadership style, which will empower our people. Collaborative leadership (CL) requires empathy, motivating, invigorating and agility to adapt.
If we treat our people well they will treat us well... it has to come from the heart , not the head.
Command and control worked well when the boss knew more and had exclusive access to information.  However, with our current changing environment, whereby information is available to everybody in real time, this style of management is no longer relevant.
The shift to C L has to happen for the following reasons:
Globalisation is a reality which we have to accept or otherwise this will lead us to a slow and painful death. Hence, organisations need to develop capabilities to adapt and manage diversity, both culturally and geographically. With this fast paced highly technological world, networking on social media such as Linkedin, facebook etc. is seen as an indispensable tool for leaders who have to be connected.
Adaptability to new business model
Nowadays, outsourcing has become more common and often involves partners which are lot bigger than the company itself.
Traditional management style in this context will definitely fail, thus a different style based on seduction and convincing will do the trick.
The solution will be to approach everyone with openness yet remaining professional and not falling into condescendence.
More knowledge workers
The workforce today has a rather different attitude from their traditional counterparts they are more loyal to their area of expertise than to their company, and dislike command unless it is based on expertise.  Furthermore, in Mauritius, our traditional education system has always focused on academic results, leading to elitism, and expecting our youngsters to be among the best which is synonymous with individualism and also our performance recognition system is based on the individuals rather than teams. However, with proper coaching on Emotional intelligence (EI), this setback can be overcome. The key to success is to put people together in constructive ways with good information, which will generate authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization.
Contribution to society
Society expects companies to become responsible corporate citizens and pay attention not only to their shareholders but to all stakeholders at large.
Companies in Mauritius are supporting NGOs working on social and environmental programs such as Reef Conservation, HIV Aids etc… and as a consequence of this trend, leadership requires close collaboration with local and national communities to preserve the company’s image and brand.
Changes in Company structure
With the accelerated decision making  trend, companies are moving from a hierarchical structure to a networked structure. The command and control structure whereby the regional organisations and subsidiaries reported to the head office is phasing out. This flattening of organisations and distribution of organisational power allows better quality decisions which are made locally and allows the local staff to feel empowered and trusted. This has a positive correlation with performance and results, but has the disadvantage of becoming muddled. Managing change in such organizations, where power is more evenly distributed, will require managers capable of handling ambiguity and who can trigger actions through collaboration.

Growing  importance of risk management
Under the command and control model, decision making was vested in one person. However, with the 2008 financial crisis leading to the collapse of Lehman Brothers ,  collaborative leadership has been the favoured approach as it allows  a team decision with people from  diverse background instead of one person.
The new collaborative leader
The Collaborative leader is someone who wants to achieve results by stimulating collaboration with peers. The prerequisite for these future leaders, are collaboration, listening, influencing and adaptation in line with a flat organisation structure.
The 1998 world cup is a vivid example whereby France won the world cup against Brazil who is known to have the best players, but Zinedine Zidane succeeded in taking his team to become the world cup champion simply by getting all the players to play in team like in an orchestra.
C L is not a panacea
All leadership should not become collaborative as there may be circumstances where the urgency of the situation does not warrant the investment in collaboration. For example in management of urgencies one would prefer straightforward command and control. But in cases where some of the trends described above do apply, collaboration would be the preferred solution.
Collaborative efforts often fail because leaders are unable to manage bitter conflict between stakeholders. Just as the leader has to be willing to let go of his ego and move on.
The beauty and challenge of C L is our capacity to handle a world of dualities, as we need to adapt to a group of individuals while keeping an open mind, being formal sometimes and informal as necessary. Our objective will be two prongs, profit maximisation and socially involved. This is further enhanced by developing our capacity to listen with empathy whilst continuously challenging our frenemies.
History, will remember that despite all the sufferings and humiliation, Mandela did not let his ego influence his decisions on how to make his country progress from apartheid to a free nation. By using his C L and EI capabilities, he kept his humility. During his tenure as president he chose to appoint both black and white South Africans to work together towards a common vision.
At financial toastmasters, we come from different professional backgrounds yet we all work towards a common goal, which is to improve our leadership skills and help our members to collaborate to become excellent public speakers. It takes two to tango.