Lateral Collaboration

Most of our critical challenges require us to work across boundaries without being authorized to make decisions or control others’ work.
Whilst we are required to adopt a “one-organization” mindset, we still strive to deliver our own objectives. Having different interests, expertise and opinions hinders alignment.
Teaming up becomes immensely challenging, as there is no clarity on who leads whom and when. Leadership has no overall authority. Collaboration has to be negotiated. It becomes relational. It feels personal.
Let’s see the challenges teams face and how we at The Lateral Space can help to overcome these challenges.

What is
Lateral Collaboration?

Lateral & Hierarchal Collaboration are two gears, between which every leadership team needs to master & continuously shift.

Modes of Collaboration

For Lateral Collaboration to work simultaneously with Hierarchical Collaboration, it is important to know the distinctive features of both modes of collaboration.

Hierarchical Collaboration

Lateral Collaboration

Where we come

You can understand both modes of collaboration clearly through our video. Watch our video Lateral vs Hierarchical Collaboration

What challenges Lateral Leadership?

Avoidance is the biggest challenge faced by a team planning Lateral Collaboration. It usually occurs in a hostile environment where a disconnected team or a disengaged leader fails to create a conducive sharing platform for its team members.
Leaders may also avoid giving feedback to their team for fear of being misjudged or considered intimidating.
This behaviour directly impacts the growth of the organization as it restricts utilizing the full potential of each team member.

Avoidance routines

An indication that the team is refraining from lateral leadership is when any of these practices are noticeable in the team.

Invisible avoidance

Visible avoidance

Socially acceptable avoidance

Where we come

At The Lateral Space, we want our coached leaders to engage with their teams promote dialogue, and become more accessible to the team.

They will create a perfect balance between Hierarchical Structure and Lateral Leadership by following defined goals and addressing all challenges faced by the team.
You can understand these avoidance practices through our video. Watch our video -> Avoidance Routines of Lateral Collaboration

What are the risks in Lateral Leadership?

Lateral Leadership is leadership in the absence of formal authority and well-defined hierarchical powers.
With organizational structures becoming flatter, there are certain risks and challenges that a leader may run into when leading a team laterally. In addition, the team members too may face challenges while adjusting in this structure.

Risks of leading others laterally

Risks of following others laterally

Risks of harming relationships

Risks of distorting organizational cohesion

Here is a video for you to understand the risks faced during lateral collaboration. Watch our video >> Risk Against Lateral Collaboration

Where we come

Leaders must understand and define their roles, responsibilities, and power in a team. Also, they must help team members to understand their value.

Create a collaborative environment

Our consultants at The Lateral Space will assist your leaders to understand their role in creating an environment for the team where they willingly cooperate, take responsibility, and find satisfaction in their work.

Define purpose and state expectations

Your leaders will be able to define the purpose of their leadership role to the team and lay down their expectations for the team.

Establish a transparent, cross-functional team

We will facilitate them to bring transparency within their team and across other teams with well-defined tasks for each member, accountability for their actions, and recognition for their performance.

What are
Organizational paradoxes?

Organizational paradoxes are
visible in situations such as

Large organizations are now-a-days built on complexity. Leadership dilemmas often come to existence within an organizational reality where two seemingly opposite sides need to be joined into one. This is called an organizational paradox.
Paradox is defined as:
“A situation or statement that seems impossible or is difficult to understand because it contains two opposite facts or characteristics.” – Cambridge Dictionary


Team challenges in an organizational paradox

A team facing an organizational paradox often wrestles with the following challenges:
Difficulty in priority setting
Long discussions without an outcome
Staying on high-level discussions
Focus on firefighting
Coalition forming in the team

Organizational paradoxes give rise to conflicts

These paradoxes create dilemmas that are present in every part of the organization. Often in teams, different members have responsibilities on different sides of the polarity. This can make it hard to move forward as it may give rise to conflicts.
Conflicts faced may include structural complexities, goal differences, workplace demands, competition-driven leadership, and loss of team interconnection.
Successful teams are teams that, not only recognize these paradoxes but are also able to effectively work

Where we come

The arising conflicts will affect your team’s collaboration negatively. Our consultants at The Lateral Space are here to help with the following solutions.

Identifying team conflicts

We will coordinate with your leaders to identify these conflicts within your teams arising as a consequence of certain organizational paradoxes.

Calculating the impact

We will assist you in calculating the impact of these conflicts on your team members, the team’s synergy, and the overall growth of your organization.

Providing remedial measures

We will also help to diagnose the reasons these conflicts are occurring within the team and suggest remedial measures and a correction strategy.