When the right people get together, it feels like magic as they do miracles!
The above sentence confirms the meaning shared in the other blog titled "A secret step to scale your business". Yes, that’s the miracle! However, the above sentence does not explain the most important part; how would you identify the right people? In other words, what are the characteristics of the perfect collaborators?
In this article, I have identified six characteristics. Please do yourself a favour by reading this till the end. If you tick the below six boxes – with confidence – for your potential collaborator(s), then I assure you it will be a successful collaboration that you will never regret. Sounds interesting?
In general, collaboration in business has similarities to dating/personal relationships! It is about having chemistry between collaborators. The chemistry here does not have the classical meaning of emotions; it has a wider meaning of working together in synergy towards a mutual target, that is explained by the following 6 characteristics:
This is the foundation for any successful business relationship. It must be balanced; both parties are winning out of this collaboration. The benefit for each party is clear and identified; not necessarily the benefit is translated into money or profits, it could be experience or tapping in a new area or a different market.
A basic pre-requisite for all kinds of healthy relationships; personal and business. As trust is the first requirement to claim a close friendship. Similarly, it is required for business collaboration, as it involves sharing information, insights and knowledge.
The whole purpose of business collaboration is to work jointly on a certain project / for a certain client / with a certain objective to achieve the target faster while keeping the overhead costs as low as possible. So, building a decent level of trust as a starting point between all involved parties is a pre-requisite for ticking the first box and proceeding further in this relationship.
3. Purpose alignment
Living with a purpose makes a huge difference; it keeps you on your toes, it is the main driver for getting up from your bed every morning. Why are doing what you are doing? This is the simplest explanation for “Purpose”.
There are several methods for identifying the purpose, the simplest one is what is called “The seven levels deep exercise”, where the question “Why?” is repeated 7 times to dive deep inside the emotions and come up with the true purpose. It may take you a while to find your purpose, but once you are done with it, you feel that your vision is clearer.
Simon Sinek is the father of this topic with his 2 amazing books; “Start with why” and “Find your why”; they are full of real-life examples, and are highly recommended for a read.
Back to our topic, when two entities or professionals are having the potential of collaboration, the alignment will be easier and smoother if they both share the same purpose
4. Sharing values
Humans are different; yes, our differences are the main strength in business collaboration, as we combine our strengths, and so promote innovation and creative thinking. However, when it comes to values, the collaboration will be successful when similar (or close to similar) values are shared.
Have you heard about a successful collaboration/partnership where one party has quality as the main value, while it is off the list for the other party? Or one party always puts clients first, while the other does not listen to clients?
5. Clear responsibility split
Similar to managing a team or leading an organisation, unless there is quite clear responsibility split between people/departments, it turns out to be chaos; a waste of time, effort and even confusion for the working teams.
The same applies to collaboration and partnership, roles and responsibilities must be identified; there is a logical reason behind this collaboration!
The responsibility split could be within the same function (Business development for example) so a geographical split is then required.
Another way of collaboration when it is across functions, where one party will be taking care of business development, while the other party is responsible for the technical work delivery, and so on.
6. Open communication
The last important characteristic is having an open channel for continuous communication. Imagine you are in collaboration and you are not able to reach the consortium to discuss a critical decision or a new input to the project.
This aspect is more critical at the beginning of the relationship, where involved parties still require understanding the working styles and the synergies between them.
I would love to hear your successful collaboration stories, so please feel free to leave a comment