Tuesday, March 5, 2013

In Praise of Collaboration

While Phil Jackson may be regarded as the most successful professional basketball coach, his collaboration with Tex Winter produced the Triangle Offense, which powered these championships.  While Duke Ellington is considered a 20th Century Icon of jazz music, his collaboration with Billy Strayhorn produced the Ellington Band sound, and those memorable arrangements. Hum the first few bars of Take The A Train, if you ever doubt me.

Going it alone is a rocky, lonely and uncertain route. In my upcoming series of blogs, I will be introducing to a series of articles on this, In Praise of Collaboration. 

Working with a professional collaborator will bring out the best in you. Collaboration brings in resources greater than your own.  Collaboration allows others to bring both their expertise, experiences and and contacts.

Here are four quick benefits from working in collaboration:

1. Collaboration ends isolationism. -  While one should never be the town crier of a great concept and tell everyone around town, the idea of having someone else who is a part of the process gives this a third party accountability. It also adds energy to the process.

2. Collaboration forces you to hear different opinions. – People with ideas for which they are passionate love to say phrases such as “Everyone needs …”  “You’d thing that …”  “My experience is that …” Often, this is little more than conjecture.  Different opinions can help shape your idea profoundly.

3. Collaboration lets you give and get support and feedback. – In our minds, all ideas sound proud, tall and majestic.  Yet, experience teaches us that not everyone has the same ideas we do. In collaborating, we work together to explain something, analyse something and listen as others express their perspectives.

4. Collaboration teaches you what you’re ‘willing to fight for …’ – A certain degree of challenging someone is important. If it doesn't happen in the creation stage, it will certainly happen in the marketplace.

Literature from the New Testament and Think to Grow Rich all champion the ability to work in concert.  Entrepreneurs need to be open to the idea of having collaborators to achieve the outcomes which they seek.