How ready are you to collaborate?
Contributed by Idea Collective Member:
While collaboration is talked about at nearly every conference, it is a process that requires a particular skill set and knowledge base to make it successful for all parties.
We love collaboration but have also seen the outcomes when it goes wrong and there is a misalignment.
Kiikstart unpacks the key factors that will determine whether you are ready to pursue collaborations plus the mindset to increase the chances of success.
What does your business value the most?
It is difficult to design and implement a great collaboration unless you know what high-value work is in your business and how you measure it.
High-value work is shaped by your values and how you deliver the client experience + what is happening in terms of client behavior and demand.
IT is that sweet spot in the middle.
Examples of high-value work in business - brand dependant
Make time to do some thinking
Planning and having the ideas around to collaborating and successfully implementing are two very different skillsets.
Two key questions to ask at the early stages of just thinking about collaboration include:
- What is your current capacity to deliver a collaboration? Think about your ability to deliver in terms of resources, time, equipment, infrastructure, finances and the size of your team – if you have one.
- What is your current capability/skillset? What is the existing skillset, talent and experience of the team to deliver on a collaboration? Or yourself if you do not have a team.
Your Collaboration readiness - Kiikstart's top 5 factors +1
- Processes in place to design, deliver and manage collaborations.
- A commitment to trialing a collaboration.
- A focus on bringing mutual benefit to all parties.
- Clarity around the desired outcomes before even taking the first step.
- Processes for follow up and measurement of all action undertaken – how will you know what great looks like otherwise?
A "start-up" mindset is key to crafting valuable collaborations
To collaborate successfully, you need to adopt a start-up mentality.
Often this is referred to as an entrepreneurial mindset, and it is key to whether or not you work for a large organization, small business o run your own gig.
Every day is day one
Businesses today require consistent re-set, and you need to be prepared to make a commitment to being honest about what you want to change about your own work practice.
As you will see from the list below there are many factors you will need to potentially review and re-design before you can successfully collaborate.
This can include factors such as:
Collaboration has to reflect the vision of your business and the other business
Collaboration is not for everyone, and there are some fundamental questions you need to be able to answer before you invest resources into designing, implementing and nurturing collaborations.
- What are the top three strategic objectives for the business in the coming 6, 12 and 18 months?
- What does the business want to become in the next two to three years?
- How would collaboration help you achieve the above? Be specific.
Know what you want to become
This is not about what you do, how you do it and even why you do it. Sure, these are important, but this focus is really about the BE.
Before you are able to really design a successful collaboration, you must connect with who you want to become as a business and as a brand.
While we live in interesting times, we need to be able to allow headspace to define what you want to become in the next 6, 12 or 18 months.
What you want to become sits at the core of the business and shapes every decision, including the type of potential collaborations you wish to be part of.
Collaboration is a partnership - everyone must win
One of the greatest errors people make in a collaboration is that they only think about their needs – not the other parties.
The inward thinking perspective leads nowhere great.
All great partnerships start with three key factors in place – before taking the first step.
- A clear understanding of the benefits it will bring to the other party.
- A well thought through process.
- And an impactful proposal.
Collaboration is worthwhile but even at the planning stage there is a lot to consider if you want to deliver great outcomes that make a measurable difference.
If you would like to further discuss collaborations, join the Idea Collective and be a part of a mass collaboration so you don’t have to grow it alone!
Founder at Kiikstart
As the Founder of Kiikstart, my mission is to create a global community of people who think differently so they can close the gap between how we once worked (old model) and today’s reality (new model).