Raising Your Game via Collaboration

Collaboration Is Hot!
Collaboration is a hot topic with several of my clients — it’s a strategic tool for them to be more innovative, competitive, and generally more effective. They’re implementing entire efforts around how to improve collaboration among their employees all over the globe.  As organizations go global, the question of how to make virtual relationships work effectively is a key one.

It’s not Just for the “Big Boys”
Collaboration as a strategy is essential for us as consultants, too. We’re not islands…we are more valuable to our clients when we collaborate and develop alliances with others who have complementary skills and experience. Some of the benefits that I’ve realized from working with virtual teams on various projects include:

  • I offer my clients a broader base of experience/expertise/talent.
  • I can juggle more/take on more projects.
  • It’s just more fun!

How to Start YOUR Virtual Team
It takes a little homework to find the right people with whom to collaborate. Finding people with skills and expertise that complement what you bring to the party requires doing your homework and establishing a high level of trust. There must be trust in the person’s skills, as well as their overall work ethic and customer orientation. I guess it’s sort of like dating — compatibility is key! 

Then once you find the right people, forming your team and getting everyone on the same page is essential. An article on Making Things Happen offers 10 tips for creating an environment of trust within a virtual team. These are great tips for how to ensure that your new collaboration partners understand your business and goals, and are committed to working with you on those terms.

Encouraging Words
I don’t want to make this whole collaboration thing sound daunting…it really isn’t. Just start by finding a few trusted compadres to chat with about the possibilities …things will flow nicely from there.

I’m firmly committed to collaborating with others as a key strategy for my business. By working in tandem with a few select fellow consultants over the past five years, I’ve been able to expand my horizons and learn about different industries and new applications of my work that I may never have had a chance to work on if left to my own devices. I’d love to hear from others who’ve used collaboration and virtual teams in their businesses — feel free to share any advice you have for others who haven’t yet made the plunge!

About Jen Berkley Jackson

Jen Berkley Jackson, founder and owner of The Insight Advantage, has extensive experience in using various methods (surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews) to integrate the voice of the customer into all functions, helping organizations increase market share, revamp product lines/services, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and retention.


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