Collaboration unlocks new opportunities for businesses that could otherwise not be achieved on your own. When businesses come together, they are able to achieve goals that might have previously seemed impossible to achieve. For collaborations to be successful, like any relationship, there needs to be rules that guide these partnerships and how the parties involved in the collaboration relate to one another. Some of the things to take into account for successful collaborations are:
- Common interest: It is important that the partners that intend to collaborate have common interests. This ensures that there is buy in and effort from both parties throughout the entire process.
- Common values: Before collaborating with a business, it is important to ensure that the business that you are going into partnership with shares the same values to avoid a clash during the process.
- Clarity on goals: It is important to be clear on what the goals for the collaboration are so that all effort is directed to this. A lack of clarity in goals leads to wasted efforts as there is no clear goal to be worked towards.
- Timelines: It is important to set timelines within which a business collaboration would like to achieve certain goals, to enable frequent assessment of the strides being made towards the goals, and to point out possible redirection of efforts should there be need.
- Clear expectations: The expectations in a partnership need to be clear. Each party needs to know what is expected of them, and what they expect of the other. This leads to increased accountability when one party fails to meet their end of the bargains.
- Clear definition of roles: This enables seamless working of all parties, while reducing instances of clashing amongst partners where there could be an overlap of roles of the different parties. This also ensures that each party knows what they need to bring to the table.
- Conflict resolution: Even the most successful partnerships have days when they do not get along too well. The key is to have conflict resolution mechanisms that can address any conflicts that come up in future for the good of the collaboration.
- Networking: While collaboration is one of the benefits of networking, one of the main aspects of collaboration is pooling together resources for the good of the partnership and this includes expanding the network that the partnership has access to further move towards the common goal.
- Transparency: It is important that there is trust among the businesses that are in partnership and this can be done by ensuring that there is transparency at all times by the partners. Transparency ensures that there is trust, which is the foundation of any meaningful partnership.
- Flexibility: There are always uncertainties, and thus it is key for there to be room for flexibility in any partnership to accommodate any happenings that might have not been planned for earlier, within reason.
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