Any business leader with a vision can postulate a new venture, but it takes real collaboration to make it a success. Today’s complexities require to include multi-disciplinary skills, competencies, and experiences for success. Business leaders who embrace the solo approach usually live to regret it.
One way of defeating current threats is through collaboration, often in the unexpected way, with other companies. Our fast-paced marketplace requires mutually beneficial partnerships to leverage creativity, experience, and resources that can help businesses arrive at a solution in less time. Every business leader should heed the top five lessons on collaboration:
1. Barriers are not technical. Most companies suffer from cultural and organizational barriers to implementing collaborative approaches. Business leaders need first to build a culture, processes and shared goals, rather than competition and bureaucracy. Collaboration should come from with-in to active engage with other companies.
2. Collaboration must be embraced, not deployed. Executives must be willing participants, modeling collaborative behavior and adopting the technology tools, not just taskmasters. All team members must be committed. Corporate culture is not set by words, but by the actions of the founder. Trust is a requirement for every successful collaboration.
3. Good ideas come from anywhere. As companies play to their strengths, they learn to be authentic and increases the effectiveness of the collaboration. These are critical approaches to identifying what is important, exploring what is possible, and coordinating for successful outcomes.
4. Consensus is the nemesis of collaboration. Collaboration leaves everyone with a “win-win” feeling while working on agreement most of the time ends-up in someone feeling like they lose. Collaboration opens more real opportunities, good for business, while consensus narrows them to a compromise.
5. More collaboration opens opportunities to create more value. Within any given business environment (market, industry, offering) opportunities exist that are often missed unless everyone is listening and communicating. Working together with other companies can foster a culture of innovation.
So, it is true, collaboration matters in every business. It is important and profitable for big corporations and startups as well. Based on industry experts, the average return on collaboration is four times the initial investment. Both businesses gain from cost avoidance, cost reductions, business optimization, and faster business decisions.
Collaboration is the new imperative. It may be an innovative way to accelerate growth, improve agility, increase flexibility, and cut costs all in one. Forging a collaborative culture is not an easy task, but it sure has its reward.
DuartePino is a management advisory firm that combines in-depth customer knowledge with practical expertise in marketing to help clients create sustainable business growth. We can provide your organization with a fresh perspective, a proven process that invests in the outcome, and the tools for successful execution. Contact us to learn more about growth strategies for your organization.
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