Great article by Chantal Cleminson
English Author John Donne said: “No man is an island”, meaning no one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.
Most experts agree that collaborating in business produces greater outcomes. The brainpower of intelligent people combined together, has the ability to solve problems and achieve amazing results. It can also be very liberating to be part of a work culture that promotes collaboration.
I first experienced the benefits of collaboration after graduating and working in my first Interior Design job. We were involved in the Corporate Design of a couple of Banks as well as the designs for a large Cinema Group amongst others. As part of the design team, we collaborated with design concepts through to the production of drawings and finally their implementation. Our best results were due to collaboration.
More recently I played a part in a Project relating to a social cause; which required wide scale collaboration. Without this form of collaboration, this project would not have got off the ground or be achieving the results that it is now seeing.
According to Forbes there is nothing more important to leadership and organizational success than collaboration. It exponentially increases the odds of amazing things happening. But it can be tough to achieve. Bringing people together and then igniting and nurturing a collaborative effort is a key test of leadership and workplace culture.
Collaborating and sharing of information creates new ideas, innovation and exciting opportunities for organisations. We have all been part of this in one way or another. Reading an interesting or intriguing article that we just want to share; to watching something inspirational on TED or seeing the collaboration through teamwork in sports. These are the things that inspire us in so many ways.
But like any relationship, it is important to set limits – to have boundaries. It is not about being best friends. It is where you need to be respectful and honour people’s limits. It is ultimately about good communication and where everyone has the chance to be heard. By focusing on the goals and working together on the solutions – you cannot go wrong.
By being genuine and true to yourself, you allow others to understand who you are and how to collaborate with you, gaining their respect. You will always get caught out if you pretend to know what you don’t. Collaboration is about bringing your best self to the project.
By collaborating with others, spontaneous connections can be formed; resources can be pooled for more effective delivery; and partnerships can be developed. From two people working towards a shared goal to large scale collaboration; where people have ideas and knowledge is shared – this is what makes anything possible.
Collaboration ignites innovation in so many ways: It focuses on creative solutions, ideas for improvement and exciting opportunities. It has the ability to resolve world problems that are too large to solve alone.
So why are people so scared to share knowledge? Is it that they think others will fare better than them by using their ideas; or is it that they may feel inferior to others and do not feel like they are able to contribute anything?
I have noticed that by sharing your knowledge, you actually build credibility; where people begin to trust you and develop a relationship with you. By collaborating and contributing you may feel valued and you may actually learn something from someone else.
Being part of a successful collaboration is exhilarating and exciting. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the collaboration is; it somehow makes you feel part of something bigger than oneself and this touches our souls, connects us to others and instils career satisfaction.
Technology enables collaboration to happen on a global scale. It is a game changer as it enables one to collaborate on a large scale platform; whereby it creates social learning, networking and development and cultivates creativity and innovation.
As Bob Mudge (President of Consumer and Mass at Verizon) puts it: “Collaboration is no longer just a strategy: it is the key to long-term business success and competitiveness. Businesses that realize this sooner rather than later will be the ones who win the game and succeed in the new global economy.”
What are your thoughts about collaboration linking to success?