Anyone who has attended a business conference, workshop or after-hours networking event would have heard the term ‘collaboration’ mentioned many times.
Just collaborate already! We’re reminded constantly that the industry relies on collaboration, that there would be so many opportunities if we all just collaborated.
Yes, collaboration certainly does open up opportunities and creates mutual benefits for both parties. Yes, working alone in isolation is a sure-fire way to go backwards in a digital world that is consistently changing and re-designing itself.
But here’s the kicker. Collaboration like everything in business and life is a learnt skill and a talent that takes time to acquire and develop. To build relationships with others that can lead to high-value services and products actually requires an entrepreneurial mindset and approach.
So, what does this actually look like and what questions do you need answered before even moving past the just thinking stage of collaboration?
- How does your business and team define high-value work in today’s world? What benefit can you offer another business in collaboration?
- Be honest about your agenda – what are your reasons for wanting to collaborate with other businesses?
- What criteria and standards will you use to make smart decisions around your target businesses – what is negotiable and non-negotiable?
- Where is the current gap in the market and how will this collaboration fill it?
Be clear on what the desired outcome is before taking a step forward.
- Where is the external disruption in your market and how will this collaboration provide a solution?
- Do you have the internal team talent and work processes and discipline to make collaboration work? This includes the design and planning stages right through to execution and review.
In terms of a Collaborative mindset, here are our top traits and characteristics:
- You are willing to commit money, time and staff to make the collaboration a success.
- You take action and do not delay.
- You are prepared to trial and experiment.
- You have a vision and can think strategically.
- You are resourceful.
- You regularly review the relationship.
- You have a win-win approach to your collaborations.
- You understand what high-value work is in today’s market.
- You welcome change and look to the market for feedback.
- You love a challenge.
- You listen to others and keep an open mind.
- You focus on what matters.
Curious to explore further and build the skill, resources and processes needed to successfully collaborate in today’s world?
Kiikstart has just launched Crafting Collaborations – Less Talk More Action.
If you’re a manager, marketer, business owner or entrepreneur who wants to understand how to craft strategic collaborations to innovate and develop new products or grow new markets, visit our Crafting Collaborations page.