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Collaboration Win or Lose?

By December 1, 2015February 14th, 2019Articles, Leadership

collaboration“Those who have learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Charles Darwin

It’s a fact that there’s power in numbers! There’s enormous benefit to be had in drawing on the collective wisdom and talents of others. Collaboration at its best can produce fantastic results. Collaboration at it’s worst can be detrimental to business and relationships. So given that collaboration is deemed one of the critical success factor in business, how do you know when to collaborate and when not to? Not every collaborative opportunity is a good one!

I was having a conversation with someone today and she was telling me how she’s decided to say yes to everything that came her way. Yes to opportunities, yes to invitations and yes to new things. In principle, this sounds great and what a great way to explore life by having such openness. However, for someone who currently has three jobs, a hobby business and hardly sees her partner, this may not be the best strategy for her. Now you may be thinking I’m being a stick in the mud and I might in fact need to embrace opportunity more and have a bit more fun in life, and this could be true. My question is will these opportunities, invitations and ‘new things’ taker her closer to or further away from what she ultimately wants to achieve?

Likewise with collaboration, how do you know when the opportunity to collaborate is going to support your business or your career and be of benefit to you?

My suggestion is to focus on Relevant Collaboration. There’s a huge risk in taking a scattergun approach to every issue. Are you channeling the intelligence of the right people? Will collaborating on this issue lead to the best solution or will it further complicate issues? We have a huge problem with decision making in business as it stands. Gleaning too many points of view can further paralyze the indecisive leader.

By focusing on relevant collaboration you can determine the best situations in which to seek multiple perspectives. By assessing each situation you can determine if you have the time to collaborate (as you won’t always) and involve those who have the most relevant insights and knowledge to share. This doesn’t mean only involving those who have similar thoughts to you, that defeats the purpose of collaborating!

Of course having clarity on your vision, goals and strategy will enable you to better decide on your collaborative opportunities and ensure they are relevant and complimentary to your strategy and future. That’s a no brainer!

Relevant collaboration offers huge benefits to business and the growth of its people. If you haven’t considered this yet for your business or career it may be something to put on the radar for next year. As for many situations, there’s power in numbers and power in the collective intelligence of our multi generational business landscape we’re so lucky to be able to tap into now.