The biggest source of growth and increased opportunities in today’s business climate lie in the way that individuals and companies work together.
It is becoming increasingly rare to find an individual or organization that has not yet been required to team with others. Lone rangers and sole-source providers simply cannot succeed in competitive environments and global economies. Those who benefit from collaborations, rather than become the victim of them, will log the biggest successes in business years ahead.
Just as empowerment, team building and other processes apply to formal organizational structures, then teamings of independents can likewise benefit from the concepts. There are rules of protocol that support and protect partnerships…having a direct relationship to those who profit most from teamings.
Definitions of these three terms will help to differentiate their intended objectives:
- Collaborations – Parties willingly cooperating together. Working jointly with others, especially in an intellectual pursuit. Cooperation with an instrumentality with which one is not immediately connected.
- Partnering – A formal relationship between two or more associates. Involves close cooperation among parties, with each having specified and joint rights and responsibilities.
- Joint-Venturing – Partners come together for specific purposes or projects that may be beyond the scope of individual members. Each retains individual identity. The joint-venture itself has its own identity… reflecting favorably upon work to be done and upon the partners.
Here are some examples of Collaborations:
- Parties and consultants involved in taking a company public work together as a team.
- Niche specialists collectively conduct a research study or performance review.
- Company turnaround situation requires a multi-disciplinary approach.
- A group of consultants offer their collective talents to clients on a contract basis.
- The client is opening new locations in new communities and asks its consultants to formulate a plan of action and oversee operating aspects.
- Professional societies and associations.
- Teams of health care professionals, as found in clinics and hospitals.
- Composers and lyricists to write songs.
- Artists of different media creating festivals, shows and museums.
- Advocate groups for causes.
- Communities rallying around certain causes (crime, education, drug abuse, literacy, youth activities, etc.).
- Libraries and other repositories of information and knowledge.
Here are some examples of Partnering:
- Non-competing disciplines create a new mousetrap, based upon their unique talents, and collectively pursue new marketplace opportunities.
- Widget manufacturing companies team with retail management experts to open a string of widget stores.
- A formal roll-up or corporation to provide full-scope professional service to customers.
- Non-profit organizations banning resources for programs or fund-raising.
- Institutions providing start-up or expansion capital.
- Managing mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.
- Procurement and purchasing capacities.
- Corporations working with public sector and non-profit organizations to achieve mutual goals in the communities.
- Private sector companies doing privatized work for public sector entities.
- Organ donor banks and associations, in consortium with hospitals.
- Vendors, trainers, computer consultants and other consultants who strategically team with clients to do business. Those who don’t help to develop the business on the front end are just vendors and subcontractors.
Here are some examples of Joint-Venturing:
- Producers of energy create an independent drilling or marketing entity.
- An industry alliance creates a lobbying arm or public awareness campaign.
- Multiple companies find that doing business in a new country is easier when a consortium operates.
- Hardware, software and component producers revolutionizing the next generation of technology.
- Scientists, per research program.
- Educators, in the creation and revision of curriculum materials.
- Distribution centers and networks for retail products.
- Aerospace contractors and subcontractors with NASA.
- Telecommunications industry service providers.
- Construction industry general contractors, subcontractors and service providers in major building projects.
- Group marketing programs, such as auto dealer clusters, municipalities for economic development, travel and tourism destinations, trade association and product image upgrades.
- International trade development, including research, marketing, relocation, negotiations and lobbying.
Characteristics of a Good Collaborator:
- Already has a sense of self-worth.
- Has a bona fide track record on their own.
- Have a commitment toward knowledge enhancement.
- Walk the Talk by their interactions with others.
- Supports collaborators in developing their own businesses, offering referrals.
- Have been on other teams in the past… with case studies of actually collaborations.
- Have successes and failures to their credit, with an understanding of the causal factors, outcomes and lessons learned.
- Ongoing association and professional exchange with the best in respective fields.
- Utilize professional synergy to create opportunities that individuals could not.
- Serve as a beacon for professionalism.
- Provide access to experts otherwise not known to potential clients.
- Refer and cross-sell each others’ services.
- Through demands uncovered, develop programs and materials to meet markets.
Benefits for participating principals and firms include…
About the Author
Power Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.
Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.