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The Art of Collaboration

Collaborating in Business - some hints and tips from my own journey!

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Collaborating in business is key if you want to grow. Like it or not, businesses don’t grow and become successful through one person only – you need other people’s expertise and skills as there are just so many parts to having and growing a successful business.

We know this better than anyone. I collaborated with a training partner to create MyPeopleClub – Together, we collaborated to create MyPeopleClub – a new online platform for HR professionals, coaches and trainers, launching in March 2020.

So, what is Collaboration?

“The action of working with someone to produce something”

Collaboration is the process of two or more people (or organisations) working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. Collaboration is similar to cooperation. Teams that work collaboratively often access greater resources, recognition and rewards.

In its applied sense,”(a) collaboration is a purposeful relationship in which all parties strategically choose to cooperate in order to accomplish a shared outcome.”

Why is it important?

8 reasons why collaboration is important

  • It helps us problem-solve;
  • Collaboration brings people (and organisations) closer together;
  • Collaboration helps people learn from each other;
  • It opens up new channels for communication;
  • Collaboration boosts morale across your organisation;
  • It leads to higher retention rates;
  • Collaboration makes us more efficient workers;
  • Scale.

So, we can see how collaboration might help us grow our businesses. However, it’s always great to have some examples – what famous collaborations can you think of?

One great example of a collaboration is Apple. Created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, they founded Apple in Cupertino, CA in 1976. They were good friends (going back to high school), and their shared interests were a crucial element of their success. Wozniak created the Apple I, and Jobs had the foresight to know that selling the device was the best way to fund their company.

Their partnership only lasted a few years, but what they created was hugely successful.  Their story demonstrates that collaborations should begin with a shared interest and each party should have something useful to contribute.

Another great collaboration is that of Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield – Yes, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! They founded their ice cream company in 1978. They were middle school friends and had a shared interest in ice cream! (who doesn’t?!). They invested their own money, each of them taking an equal financial risk. Successful collaborations are often built on this sort of equality and on passion.

One final collaboration is that of Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Of course, there are so many famous musical collaborations to choose from, but this partnership was certainly a strong one and one that is recognised many years later. Both individuals were highly competitive and would challenge each other to create the best they possible could. John wrote Strawberry Fields and then Paul wrote Penny Lane. They constantly pushed each other to create and do better.

There are so many more collaborations I can think of, what are the collaborations that stand out most to you?

When thinking of collaborating with someone and/or with another organisation, there is a lot to consider, to ensure a successful partnership. Here are some tips on how to get things done;

  1. Brainstorm everything and think BIG – it’s then easier to plan and prioritise;
  2. Allow time for reflection – sometimes additional ideas come to mind;
  3. Refine and commit – prioritise what needs doing first, and put goals/timelines in place;
  4. Recognise and plan workload – plan, agree responsibilities and play to each other’s strengths;
  5. Make it real – business name, companies house, web domain, logo, business cards;
  6. Put governance in place – meet or catchup regularly and be focussed on what to discuss;
  7. Balance commitments with existing commitments;
  8. Forecast and track spend – allocate budget, track it and make sensible decisions;
  9. Consider home/work life – it’s very easy to be totally absorbed into the collaboration;
  10. Hold each other to account – it’s a partnership, push each other and support each other.

Never Lose sight of the dream!

You can find out more about our own collaboration, MyPeopleClub at www.mypeopleclub.com or on Facebook, @MyPeopleClub

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