collaboration within an organization is the key strategic advantage for achieving successful interdisciplinary results.
Diverse departments and disciplines often pursue their interests in a parochial manner. Partnering for specific projects,
while common, is often difficult because individuals involved have very little training in or understanding of how to operate
within a matrix interdisciplinary environment. They rely on traditional behaviors inherent in hierarchical structures
where position and prestige hold the decision-making power.
This operating culture within interdisciplinary groups can marginalize other participants who would
otherwise be contributing more equitably to achieving the group’s intended results. When this happens, the best
of the participants’ abilities are lost to interpersonal competition, group in-decision, withholding resources, wasted
time and money and lost opportunities.
Traditional medical training promotes a competitive, individual contributor mentality. As such, rewards are given
for individual performance i.e. grants, first authorship and research findings, all of which do not promote collaborative
behavior. Changing trends in patient care and research are requiring a team effort to produce optimal results.
When participants of an interdisciplinary group
can apply learned techniques and processes for effective teamwork, their shared results are measurably improved. The
group’s goals and priorities are clear, roles and accountabilities are well defined and operating protocols for communication,
meetings, decision-making and resolving conflicts are specifically agreed and adhered to. Ultimately, deadlines are
met and results are achieved.
- To train participants on the skills and techniques of developing
- Create a structure and operating protocol for interdisciplinary
- Define the roles and accountabilities of interdisciplinary
groups/teams, leaders/facilitators and members/participants.
- Enhance participant’s
team oriented professional development with individual assessments, skills inventories and personalized coaching support.
- Define behavioral guidelines for communication, meetings, assigning tasks, decision-making,
conflict resolution and balancing department and group requirements