Three Ways to Collaborate SmarterBy Michael Robison
Collaboration. It's a word that we don’t hear too often these days, and it's filled with Lone Rangers, of sorts. Many people are convinced they can do things alone, by their own ability and with their own resources. But it simply is not true. Nothing great ever happens without the synergy of partnership, teamwork and multiplicity.
If you are working to build a great campaign, movement or idea, you will need the power of collaboration. Collaboration makes you stronger, smarter and more effective. I am not just talking about brainstorming sessions with friends around a table; I am talking about true collaboration.
What does that look like? Let’s examine a couple of options:
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday work, we can forget the amazing talent, power and knowledge that lie within the four walls of our offices. Each person on a team brings a unique set of life experiences, skills and natural wirings, and when brought together, they can help propell a good idea into a great product, mission or movement. While this might seem obvious, it’s often easier said than done. It takes more than a trendy open office layout to get people talking and sharing. Set aside intentional time away from the office to dream and brainstorm. Purposely ask people from different departments to share their thoughts on an idea. Rising above the daily grind and making collaboration part of your culture can help you grow from within.
Often times, simply relying on the power of your team is not enough. Seeking consultation from someone who can bring an outside perspective and highly specialized skills is a powerful tool in harnessing collaboration. When you choose to hire or enlist a consultant in your campaign, project or idea, you are strengthening your process. If you find an energetic, innovative and objective consultant or consulting firm, you can multiply the concepts and potential of your project. Consider hiring a consultant to lead your team through a strategy day to develop your ideas, strengthen your brand and build a road map to success. Or, if you’re just getting started, hire a mentor to help you in the same way. Either way, consultation will make you better.
I am not simply referring to the practice of handing out business cards and attending events. I am more specifically referring to the idea of harnessing the power of other people’s networks, especially social media. If you and your network of fans, supporters and business colleagues share the power of your networks, great things can happen. For example, the average person has 303 friends on Facebook. Imagine if you could get 10 percent of your Facebook network to share your idea, and they had 5 percent of their networks do that same. You could have as many as 161,000 Facebook impressions in just two generations of sharing. Don’t be shy! Ask people to share your ideas, and don’t be afraid to share someone else’s idea. This is when the power of collaboration can multiply quickly.
Never try to accomplish anything on your own. The power of networking, teamwork and collaboration are priceless. Collaboration will make you better. It will help you refine your ideas, multiply exposure and gain credibility faster.