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A system of cooperation that functions is essential for working efficiently. What role do transparency and happiness play in a company for creating a culture of cooperation? 

If a culture of good cooperation exists in your organization, the focus will usually be on the results à la, “The collaboration went seamlessly, which is why we ended up with good results.” But this statement is a given because no one in the team could possibly have anything against efficiency and effectiveness.

When it comes to good cooperation, it’s better to consider it on an emotional level. It forms the basis of an efficient workflow, and plays a vital part in whether or not we achieve good results as a team. 

What Does a Culture of Cooperation Involve? 

Well, firstly, you generally help your teammates because you enjoy working with them. That said, however, even people you enjoy working with may sometimes not be so nice to you in the moment.  Regardless of this, you most likely still respect the contributions your colleagues make. Sometimes the diversity and aspects of team members that, at first glance don’t appear to be so pleasant, result in an effect that has a positive overall impact on your team. A team is not a marriage of love, but a community with a particular mission. 

Cooperating well together requires trust in the integrity of your colleagues. This includes transparency about the goals and motives of the company where you work, as well as those of the individual people who work there. 

It takes a respectful and decent person to not take advantage of other people’s weaknesses. It also takes character to open up about your own weaknesses. 

And at this point, it may seem that my description no longer has much to do with the reality of collaboration in a company. You're most likely with me as far as the general concept, but many of our customers can only dream of having a culture of collaboration like the one I’ve described. 

But dreaming doesn’t help, does it? Corporate culture is the reflection of the way your overall workforce behaves. You can’t directly influence the culture of your company; instead you have to change the behavior of your employees and the environment in which they work. This allows you to harvest culture as the result of behavioral change. And you have to have a certain amount of belief to make that work. 

If you don’t have transparency now, and you decide to create it right away, what do you think will happen? Unfortunately no one can answer this question. Your situation is unique to your organization and depends on many factors. You’ll have people who begin work using the new information immediately, in a sensible way, and in the interests of the company. There will also be those who try to use the information for their own personal gain, while contributing little or nothing to the level of transparency. I am not sure whether you should try and prevent the latter or what the options might be that allow you to do so. The truth is, through the organic growth of transparency within the organization, the issue of self-serving behavior will automatically solve itself. 

I’ll admit that, at the time we made this change in our company, not everyone went around “whooping it up” in support of it. And even when it wasn’t explicitly communicated to me, I’m pretty certain we lost employees who didn’t look upon this new type of cooperation favorably. 

Actually, I could fill another book describing our journey toward more transparency and collaboration and how that improved interactions with others. So, for now, we’ll just focus on how software in itself makes a significant contribution toward this goal. 

I’ve already mentioned that it would be initially impossible for your entire workforce to access and edit new documents, in Microsoft Office 365, or Google G Suite, for example. You could, of course, try to make that happen, but in G Suite that only works as far as the “View and Find” permission is concerned. 

In other words, where everyone can view and edit everything by default in Confluence and any other wiki software, many other systems don’t offer this option at all. This is not exactly beneficial if you want to foster cooperation on equal terms and in strong and autonomous teams. 

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples that show how modern intranet software can make a concrete contribution to establishing trust, transparency, and improved cooperation in your teams and at your company. 

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