Named the Best Management Book of 2021 by strategy+business

Named one of "this month's top titles" in the Financial Times in September 2021

Named to the longlist for the 2021 Outstanding Works of Literature (OWL) Award in the Management & Culture category

A plan for conquering collaborative overload to drive performance and innovation, reduce burnout, and enhance well-being.

Most organizations have created always-on work contexts that are burning people out and hurting performance rather than delivering productivity, innovation and engagement. Collaborative work consumes 85% of employees' time and is drifting earlier into the morning, later into the night, and deeper into the weekend.

The dilemma is that we all need to collaborate more to create effective organizations and vibrant careers for ourselves. But conventional wisdom on teamwork and collaboration has created too much of the wrong kind of collaboration, which hurts our performance, health and overall well-being.

In Beyond Collaboration Overload, Babson professor Rob Cross solves this paradox by showing how top performers who thrive at work collaborate in a more purposeful way that makes them 18-24% more efficient than their peers. Good collaborators are distinguished by the efficiency and intentionality of their collaboration—not the size of their network or the length of their workday.

Through landmark research with more than 300 organizations, in-depth stories, and tools, Beyond Collaboration Overload will coach you to reclaim close to a day a week when you:

  • Identify and challenge beliefs that lead you to collaborate too quickly
  • Impose structure in your work to prevent unproductive collaboration
  • Alter behaviors to create more efficient collaboration

It then outlines how successful people invest this reclaimed time to:

  • Cultivate a broad network—not a big one—for innovation and scale
  • Energize others—a strong predictor of high performance
  • Connect with others to reduce micro-stressors and enhance physical and mental well-being

Cross' framework provides relief from the definitive problem of our age—dysfunctional collaboration at the expense of our performance, health and overall well-being.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. PART ONE: Breaking Free from Collaboration Overload
    1. 1. An Amazing Leader Falters
    2. 2. Why You Need Essential Collaboration
    3. 3. Challenge Beliefs
    4. 4. Impose New Structure
    5. 5. Alter Behaviors to Streamline Collaboration Practices
  7. PART TWO: Using Your New Freedom to Increase Performance and Well-Being
    1. 6. Networks of Successful People
    2. 7. Energizing Connections
    3. 8. Thriving in a Connected World
  8. Notes
  9. Index
  10. Acknowledgments
  11. About the Author