When reading various posts in different media channels, I have noticed a positive outcome in the current global life sciences environment, the idea of increased collaboration. There seems to be many published examples regarding fiercely competitive organisations who are, for the very first time, exchanging ideas, data, resources, and products to achieve a common goal.

Effective team collaboration requires specific interpersonal and communication skills, knowledge sharing and a defined strategy. Operating as a partnership has been identified to drive greater productivity and foster sustained healthy relationships between employees.

What are some of the common requirements for good team building?

  • Share a common purpose and goal
  • Trust
  • Use of open and effective communication techniques
  • Appreciation for the diversity of ideas
  • Team balance
  • Clarification of roles
  • Leverage cross-functional relationships
  • Open participation
  • Proactive engagement
  • Maintain a level of accountability

I pinched the following from a current regulatory affairs role posting (no, I am not looking!)

“…..the candidate must be confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and be curious….” “You will work across disciplines in an atmosphere of collaboration and inclusion where Regulatory Affairs is a respected voice and considered an equal partner in the business.”

What are some of the skills and behaviours necessary for a collaborative regulatory affairs team member?

  • Create a consensus about goals and processes for team projects
  • Actively listen to the other members
  • Investigate problems or issues without assigning blame
  • Forgive other members’ mistakes
  • Own errors
  • Willingly utilise free-association techniques to discover solutions to problems
  • Compromise when necessary
  • Delegate
  • Follow through with commitments
  • Meet deadlines
  • Show reliability
  • Acknowledge other team members’ contributions
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be open to different ideas
  • Ability to build new strategic alliances, internally and externally

Collaboration delivers a positive influence on the overall company culture by bringing different voices, functional teams, specialties and opinions together to solve problems or to innovate something new. An inclusive workplace environment galvanises teams, frees creativity and allows working together to be both productive and sometimes fun. Employees perform better when they are able to tap into internal experts, data, and resources for the ever present problem solving, or task completion.

Collaboration helps staff to feel more connected to their roles and colleagues, reduces burnout at the workplace, makes their deadlines easier to meet, allows for more freedom, and in general makes all of us happier individuals.

Technology tools, that fit naturally in regulatory workflows, must also support the human behavioural elements of teamwork, such as trust, appreciation, camaraderie, empathy, and sense of achievement. An integrated Regulatory Information Management system can effectively support your teams’ collaboration initiatives by allowing everyone real-time, synchronous access to data, ideas and plans in a shared workspace, transparent across departments.

Multiple benefits may be realised such as faster task completion for remote team members, up-skilling opportunities, sharing talents, feeling inclusive, not feeling siloed, able to see the big picture, and reduced individual pressure.

An optimally engineered and collaborative regulatory operations workplace is not a nice to have, but essential for organisational survival and success.

Please contact me for more information on how I can support your continuing or transition to collaborative activities. KimYoung@instem.com

K Young