One of our roles as managers/supervisors is to know who is doing what and linking them to other employees working on new or similar topics, creating new opportunities to collaborate. Bringing ideas together provides the personal and company growth, creating an entrepreneurial atmosphere, found in many start-up companies today. For these reasons, if you actually know what employees are working on and take interest, then are able to see the skill environment around your company or area, and you are more apt to see areas of collaboration. This is part of your job, mentoring often, with direct and specific feedback, then linking minds together.
Everyone brings different backgrounds, influences, skills and knowledge to their position. By bringing staff together to brainstorm and/or discuss their specific attributes to a project or role, the formation of alliances and collaborations take hold and allow new thoughts to stimulate.
Have small groups meet around staff workstations to discuss a project or topic, let creativity and open thinking be the norm for these sessions. Experiment with different staff members with different groups. After a while, small group meetings will become common and ideas hopefully pervasive.
ToDo – Think of staff members who bringing together could be creative by discussing their work/projects together. While you are meeting with someone at their workstation, ask if they ever discussed their current project with ______. Make it a point to bring them together and open the discussion by having them briefly discuss their specific work. This is a great opportunity to praise work in front of others.