A few years back I landed a job at a Silicon Valley unicorn company. It was in every magazine, all over TechCrunch, and a darling of the Midwest Tech Company employment boom. Known for its quirky culture and oodles of LaCroix sparkling water in the fridge, it was supposed to be amazing. And it was. But as a woman in tech, I have to say that this fabulous tech company lacked a certain something; namely, other females.
In the many months since launching CTO2 and the Autonomy, Connection and Excellence framework, we at CTO2 have come to recognize the importance of Diversity as an additional dimension leaders need to focus on in order to foster a truly magnificent knowledge work culture. Originally, I might have argued that Diversity was simply a component of Excellence, but it is more than that. It is not merely an option to be considered in an overall strategy, it is a fundamental necessity. And far too many organizations fail to give it the proper consideration.
In this article, we discuss the origins of technique now known as "Collaboration Contracts". Inspired by Jurgen Appelo's work on delegation, we devised a technique that allows the team to self-select decision making roles rather than have them delegated.
Collaboration Contracts are a way of identifying who is involved in a decision and what level of decision-making authority each participant has. This isn't a delegation model where some individual is empowered and imparts unto others some fraction of their authority for a limited period of time. This is a collaboration model where all participants are equally empowered, but find consensus on all topics to be a suboptimal approach.