About the Research

Sparked by a burning question about team dynamics while leading projects at McKinsey, Dr Gardner has devoted her career to developing the science behind Smart Collaboration. She has authored more than 70 books, chapters, case studies, and articles. Her research received the Academy of Management’s prize for Outstanding Practical Implications for Management, and has been selected three times for Harvard Business Review’s “best of” collections.

Now with the team at Gardner & Co, the research focuses primarily on bringing the practice of Smart Collaboration to life. Their ongoing research develops and tests pragmatic ways for individuals and organizations to embed collaborative working in order to achieve commercial, strategic, and talent-related benefits.

Beyond frequent publications in high-profile outlets such as Harvard Business Review and teaching executives at Harvard, Dr Gardner also has a very active speaking schedule that keeps the Smart Collaboration ideas in the public’s mind.


The Results

Our research shows that firms earn higher margins, inspire greater client loyalty, attract and retain the best talent, and gain a competitive edge when specialists collaborate across boundaries. Research also shows that individuals who engage in Smart Collaboration enhance their reputation, attain greater professional success, and enjoy benefits related to personal wellbeing.

Deeper client engagement and addressing the client’s most complex issues requires bringing together expertise from across the organization (across functions, geographies, and business lines). Done well, this naturally leads to more solutions at the client (products, services) and exponential growth in revenue.

Our analysis of performance during a crisis showed that strong collaborators outperformed their peers both during the crisis period (in this case the 2007 financial crisis) and sustained that outperformance afterwards. The individuals who did not collaborate and hoarded work suffered materials declines during the crisis and never recovered to the level of their more collaborative peers.

In a different analysis, we looked at two nearly identical professional (identical in the sense of working in the same practice,

Each person has the potential to enhance collaboration by drawing on their unique combination of strengths. Smart Collaboration hinges on team diversity. When you are aware of your natural tendencies and make smart choices about how to behave in a team setting, you have the power to help the group to leverage members’ potential and make collaboration work better.

Today, more than ever, leaders understand the urgent need to improve collaboration to drive commercial business results. Implementation is now the focus. Read the second whitepaper in our four part series on using the Smart Collaboration Accelerator to help implement the concepts of Smart Collaboration. Implementing A Smart Collaboration Strategy, Part 2: Optimizing Individuals’ and Leaders’ Collaborative Behaviors.

The Smart Collaboration Accelerator was developed in collaboration with Gardner & Co, LLC and Communication Labs, Ltd.

About Gardner & Co

Applied research, real-world insights, pragmatic solutions, measurable impact.

We help our clients across professional services, industry, government, and non-profits to drive change through smarter collaboration.

Combining our unique blend of empirical research, academic rigor, and top-tier consulting experience, we partner with the Board, C-Suite and leadership teams to help transform organizations.

We are passionate about collaboration because it creates opportunities for every employee to thrive when they contribute with their full potential.

Gardner & Co was co-founded by Dr. Heidi K. Gardner (Harvard Fellow, best-selling author, sought-after advisor) and supported with a world-class team. Gardner & Co also draws on its network of top-tier experts for both research and advisory work. We not only deliver Smart Collaboration, we live it.

Heidi K. Gardner, PhD, is a Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and Faculty Chair of the school’s Accelerated Leadership Program and Sector Leadership Masterclass. Previously she was a professor of Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School. Named by Thinkers 50 as a Next Generation Business Guru, Dr. Gardner co-founded the research and advisory firm Gardner & Co.

To learn more please visit our website at www.gardnerandco.co

About Communication Labs

Communication Labs is a leader in combining behavioral science, people analytics and personal technology to take on real-world challenges. Communication Labs works closely with domain experts in the area of personal and organizational development, institutions and industry leaders to develop solutions that can be made available at scale.”

Communication Labs has a passion to bring research and actionable personal insights to people and organizations that are seeking to take on the challenges and opportunities ahead of them.

To learn more go to www.CommunicationLabs.com