Collaboration, or the Importance of Casual Collisions
30 November 2020

Saleh Ghazal, Managing Director of OMD MENA, discusses collaboration, processes and finding the right people.

How would you define collaboration?

Collaboration is much more than teamwork or collective work; it is having the right mindset, the right culture, and it doesn’t have to be within the same discipline or the same team. We are now at a time when, more than ever, collaboration is needed with a wider audience.

I really like the idea of ‘casual collisions.’ Pre Covid, we had people talking to other people outside of their teams – in the lift, in the pantry, while having a tea break – and bouncing ideas with individuals or talents outside their day-to-day job or direct team. Collaboration really stems from these casual collisions between individuals to deliver better work for clients. During Covid, we missed that.

How do you foster such a culture, especially in a diverse country in terms of ethnicity, language, religion, values, etc.?

It’s very difficult to build a culture top bottom. Culture comes from the people. So, you foster the culture by listening to people, understanding exactly what they want, hearing them out, and, to a certain extent, by trial and error.

Building a culture requires a lot of time, but it also requires the right tools. During Covid, we’ve invested a lot in tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom because it was very hard for us to have that interaction with the wider people. But it affected the culture a lot.

This interview was first published in Communicate.

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