Everybody goes on about collaborating with others – it’s become one of those buzz words that used to be very clever but now can be quite irritating – like Paralysis by Analysis, Upcycling, Mission Critical or helicopter view. All have their place but when over-used they start to lose their meaning or impact.
In simple terms businesses do business with other businesses and the people employed therein, working with another human being is simply that – collaborating together to get something done. All it really means is working together, you wouldn’t say Billy and Joe at the local nursery were collaborating together to build the sand castle, they were just working together.
We all need to work together to achieve more and become successful and there lies the end of my rant about the language of Collaboration – we cannot do it all on our own. We need to collaborate and work with others, if we fail to do this we restrict the compound effect of working with others. One person working in isolation can achieve only so much in a day, a week or a year, however the old saying that “two heads are better than one” is certainly true, one person can stimulate a different thinking to another working in a blinkered silo. From different viewpoints come ideas and creativity which in turn can unleash unknown greatness and creativeness.
Translate this discussion into your own business and your current working practices, how often do you choose to work alone? I could rephrase that, how often do you choose not to take advice, support or input from others (collaborate) and therefore choose to work on your own? I doubt you had to go back too far in your memory bank to recall a recent occasion when you were guilty of this, we all do it.
So what do I want you to think, do or believe as a result of reading this newsletter? I want you to ask yourself the question, am I the best at creativity, am I the best at following a process or completing a specific task? If the answer is anything but a 100% confirmation that you are the best, who then is better, who has different experience, who has been in your shoes before and could know something you don’t? Ask those questions and choose to take action and seek that person out – buy them a coffee and ask for help. That is collaboration at its absolute simplest.
Even when collaboration takes place in a formalized environment between businesses and partnerships, the essence of all the detailed parameters and clauses is simply to lay out the ways of working together, hopefully in harmony. You cannot do it all on your own – big or small – find some collaborative partners to help you along your journey. Who knows, they could be great fun as well.