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Enterprise Blocking Collaboration is an important concept in Enterprise Agility because it highlights unproductive behaviors that can negatively impact an organization.

In our years working with various companies on transformation efforts, we've seen many examples of how certain collaborative activities end up being counterproductive. For instance, employees taking on additional low-priority tasks when their workload is already near full capacity. This overburdening leads to delays, errors, stress, and reduced motivation over time. Similarly, teams might communicate primarily through inefficient methods like email when face-to-face would be better. Or rigid processes stall progress as teams seek endless approvals.

These types of blocking behaviors tend to creep in gradually and become part of the company culture. Managers may even reinforce EBC by pushing teams to maintain 100% workload constantly. The costs of EBC accumulate through reduced efficiency, quality issues, and wasted time. I once helped a company that was losing 78 cents of every dollar invested in a department due to extensive multitasking and lack of focus.

By identifying and measuring EBC, organizations can uncover opportunities to streamline operations, remove bottlenecks, and refocus on business value. For instance, implementing working agreements to reduce unhelpful multitasking or moving team members into close proximity to improve workflow.

Ultimately, addressing EBC improves engagement, productivity, and innovation across the company. Collaboration is essential, but it needs to actually move the organization forward, not hold it back. An awareness of EBC allows companies to foster positive, productive cooperation.