There is strength in numbers, one plus one is three, together we are more, together we are stronger, we need to pull together – all these expressions are well known. So we do know that things work out better when people join hands to work towards a common goal. In genuine cooperation, the work is done together with another person or other persons. Technically this seems quite easy. And what’s best: there are lots of success stories to demonstrate this!
Cooperation at workplaces means that everyone participates in creating ideas and in developing the work together. But when you look at this more closely, it appears quite demanding. How is it possible, for example in shift work, to get the people in all shifts, as well as the people in part-time or fixed-term jobs to commit to developing their work together and to carrying out improvements?
A symphony orchestra is a good example of how cooperation works at a workplace. Each musician comes to work with his or her own “tool” and skills. The end result is something much greater and more impressive than what any one individual musician could achieve. The success of the collaborative effort nevertheless requires a leader, who in this case is the orchestra conductor.
As a result of the hard work and massive cooperation during the course of several generations, Finland will soon celebrate its one hundredth anniversary. That is why I am convinced that together we will be able to make Finnish workplaces just as good as we want them to be. It is a relief to know, however, that developing a workplace and improving its cooperation culture takes time. So, before starting to take action, you have plenty of time to read the success stories of the workplaces described in Telma. You may pick up some ideas from them for your own workplace, even though the “copy and paste” command as such isn’t quite applicable in this context.