When I made the jump from corporate life to running my own business, collaboration was not a word on the tip of my tongue.
Success, competition, winning, sales, being first, were the typical phrases I was thinking of when I working to make my business a success.
The corporate mentality I had absorbed was all about being first, squashing the competition and using all the tactics available to win.
The mindset was dog eat dog. We looked at the world through a lens of scarcity – never enough to go around.
However when you run your own business, especially in the service industry, without creating partnerships, joint ventures and collaborations success becomes very hard to find.
During the last few years collaboration as been talked about a lot. What it is , how to do it and how it differs to other forms of working together, like partnerships and joint ventures for instance.
I am a member of an organisation called Be Collaboration, which is all about creating an environment where collaboration sits at the core of what we do. What collaboration is, and what needs to be in existence for collaboration to happen is something that this group explores regularly.
Recently when I was running The Global Impact Show I was interviewing Matt W L Noronha and the topic of collaboration came up. We discussed what it is and can it exist in the world we live in.
The answer was YES, it can , but with certain conditions in place.
The dictionary definition of collaboration is...
“A Collaboration is a purposeful relationship in which all parties strategically choose to cooperate in order to achieve shared or overlapping objectives"
When you look at this definition we concluded that you need
3 things in place for that to occur
1. Aligned Values
You have to be singing from the same hymn sheet as far as values are concerned. If these are mis-aligned then what is important to one party will not be important to another. This cannot be the case if you want to collaborate.
Your values are your internal barometer, it keeps you aligned with what you are truly about. When this is aligned magic can occur.
2. Common Mission
If your values are you internal barometer of what you stand for, you mission is what you want to create.
When you think about it this is a given. If you are not aiming for the same thing you will take different paths
3. Willingness To Not Take Praise
This for me is the deal breaker. For true collaboration to take place, the ego needs to be put to one side, and both parties have to be willing to leave the potential for praise and join together for the greater good.
If there is a hint that they want to be the top dog and take the upper hand, control or look to get acknowledgement for the outcome then, collaboration will cease to exist.
We live at a time in history, when we are so connected, and often so fortunate to be in a position to have the freedom to start our own thing, to make an impact in what we do. Yet to do that collaboration has to take place.
This is an exciting time because we no longer have to isolated with our dreams. We can find people who get what we are about and the vision we have, and together we can make an even bigger impact.
So, drop the ego, find the people who have the same values as you and look for common missions. Because of your combined efforts the world will be a better place.