by Kenneth Cossin
Whether we work for a corporation or for ourselves, we need to understand the importance of collaboration. My definition of collaboration is working directly with your colleagues, affiliates, and competitors in an effective way that will accomplish a common goal.
1. Working with colleagues
It is imperative to develop strong relationships across departments, divisions, and even sections of your business. How many times have you dealt with a company where you felt that the “left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing?” My example is credit card companies. I will receive letters from one department telling me what a wonderful customer I am, and the next day I receive a letter telling me that my annual percentage rate (APR) is going to jump up to 24.5% interest. What? Need I say more?
There is a certain level of trust that is built by being transparent. Now, I don’t mean giving away your trade secrets such as Coke giving Pepsi their formula for creating their products. What I mean is that you explain why you are making the decisions you are making. Let’s face it. As an adult, is it not insulting to your intelligence when your company comes to you to tell you of a policy change but does not give a reason why? In addition, isn’t it also extremely suspicious when your competition refuses to work with you to solve common problems? Sure, let’s both reinvent the wheel. That makes sense.
Don’t you find it really aggravating when companies that are affiliated with you play the game of “you pay me, I pay you?” I’m not saying that we should give our work away for free, but why do we want to do business with someone that is only concerned about the “almighty dollar?” What ever happened to trust? Why are we always suspicious of people around us? Now, I do not recommend throwing caution to the wind, but simple research and intuitiveness will relax your fears. And if someone does you wrong, then remember they won’t last long in our global sea of entrepreneurs and brilliant ideas!