Want to know business collaboration ideas to make you more successful?

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As a collaboration specialist who helps parties overcome conflicts and promote collaboration, I want to share ideas with you to help you collaborate better in the future. These may be via joint ventures, strategic partnerships, sharing research, developing products or services together, or combining any activities working together.  Collaboration may allow you to optimize resources, share technology and ideas, use synergies to enhance revenue or reduce costs, improve distribution channels, or do other things. Given your and the other party's experiences, your diversity may give you a fresh perspective on achieving better results.  Here are three things for you to consider.


Collaboration partner – a real-world story


Now, it's your turn to consider who you could collaborate with to expand your network and unlock new opportunities. Don't limit yourself to your immediate circle-think big and explore new horizons.

I assisted a financial institution board in considering multiple potential partners.  The preliminary analysis identified about a dozen potential partners considering size, geography, financial statements, growth, leadership, and clients.  Further analysis brought these to three potential finalists. The boards met with each other with what appeared to be the best candidate.  However, upon reflection, it was clear this was not a good cultural fit. What was thought to be the second-best candidate met with the board.  This seemed like a much better fit.  Additional due diligence followed. Over a period of just under a year, the two institutions merged, and a transition plan was implemented successfully.  There were some bumps along the way, but it came together with both parties committed to making this work.

Thinking closer to home, believe within your team, with other teams, with teams outside of your silo, how about with competitors on a specific project.  The key is to think broadly and then narrow down the options based on how you defined the problem and who you saw as alternatives, determine the economic, environmental, and social impacts, and then evaluate those impacts.  Consider flexibility, adaptability, and risk for yourself and the other party. Let’s explore this a little deeper.


Be flexible


You only know what you know and don’t know what you don’t know. Consider reaching out to others you may not think about initially. Consider a diversity of experiences. Consider an entrepreneur who started with limited resources and built a business. This person could be a great mentor to you. Think about your weaknesses.  Might you need help with management, leadership, marketing, finance, accounting, technology, or something else? It is not always easy to be creative, so


collaborating with others might prove helpful because they may see things or

have ideas you have not thought of.


Bouncing ideas off of others, taking note of their insights, then stepping back and potentially taking action on one of them is one more step in the right direction. In the end, the decision is yours. They won’t all pan out.  That is to be expected, but hopefully, some will have a significant impact.

Optimize your resources by potentially sharing and collaborating with skills, technology, or other elements to become more efficient. Perhaps by working together, you can address supply chain issues and have economies of scale, for example, working with a competitor and purchasing assets through a shared vendor. Think outside the box, and you may be able to test various alternatives before taking a deeper dive.


Be adaptable


With an ever-changing economy, potential risks in your industry, and continual change, you need to react to different circumstances quickly.  As an entrepreneur, this is both exciting and an opportunity, and simultaneously scary.  You must have a passion to work hard, realize you do not have a safety net, and take on that risk.  This is one reason you must be calm, confident, and competent and develop support with others through collaboration. You do not have to do everything yourself. You are continually learning.


By having your network in place, you may be able to reach out to others for advice,

 having built the relationship ahead of time.


Now, you can obtain advice and adapt to the situation more confidently and passionately because you are prepared to adjust and can reach out to other people.

This is not natural for everyone. You may have to move out of your comfort zone to expand your horizons and move into the learning zone. When I formed my firm, I reached out to five mentors. One told me I had to reach out three times a day and get in front of five people weekly. This seemed like an impossible task for me. Once we worked together on this, he taught me to initially reach out with phone calls, emails, and handwritten notes. It worked.  My initial approach has changed with time: daily posts on LinkedIn with over 4,000 followers,  weekly blogs, and two monthly newsletters with 26,000 in the email listing. Be open to ideas. Recently, I mentored four startups. One person I spoke with monthly told me last month that I took one of your ideas, had my first newsletter, and shared it with 450 individuals.  That was one thing he acted on from our previous month’s meeting.  Have fun with this.




There it is with the big three related to collaboration. With whom? Who do you admire in a given area, and who do you trust and would like to partner with going forward? Be flexible in an ever-changing environment and adapt to change. Continually make your best plans, change as needed, and learn from your experiences, improving each step along the way. Good luck. Do you have any ideas you want to share with me?


 Check out these links if you need assistance, want to learn more about collaboration and conflict resolution, or want to enhance your Servant Manager skills

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]