In my recent group assignment my group functioned well together. We had a natural leader emerge and he immediately took charge. He came up with who and what our company was and the rest of the group agreed. Our no nonsense personalities fit well together. We immediately started collaborating and figured out who was going to do what part of the assignment. The only weakness I think we had was that only half the group took advantage of the group page on blackboard. We did well collaborating in the classroom but could have done better at virtually collaborating.
The best practices I can suggest in terms of workplace collaboration are:
Be flexible and let people use their strengths. If there is a natural (good) leader let them lead. If someone is clearly uncomfortable leading a group let them play off their strengths and don’t force them into a role they aren’t going to excel at.
If you are virtually collaborating on something make sure you are checking the means in which that collaborating is taking place (email, client relationship databases, blogs, IM, etc.)
Respect your collaboration group
Always keep an open mind. If someone else’s idea prevails over yours make sure to keep a smile on your face and figure out how to add value to the group.