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No. 78 - Collaboration Is The Name Of The Game

2019 Oct 14, 2019
So, this week in our Business Club we have introduced a new format to a number of our regular features.
 
Now, in this instance some of the reasons for this change are obvious… (given my illness), my ability to be as consistent as I was previously is somewhat compromised, and my plans often have to change at short notice.
 
From my perspective, whilst this is understandable, it is still not ‘good enough’!
So, I recognised that I needed to take positive steps to address this before the level of compromise became too great for me personally and my customers.
 
But actually, this is not just a message about our Business. There is a much more universal message that we’d like you to consider about giving Collaboration some serious thought.
 
So, our question for you this week is - Is it time that you started to Collaborate more?
 
So, what do we mean by Collaboration?
 
Well, put simply - "Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce something”.
 
But in reality there is a whole continuum, that could be used to describe various forms of ‘collaboration; a sliding scale in effect. From forming ‘affiliate’ arrangements with like-minded people to full on, out and out ‘partnering’.
 
Is it true to say - "You can’t do this alone…?"
 
Well, obviously you can do this alone, and for most of us that’s how it starts.
 
Driven by the desire to do the things we want to do, in the way we want to do them usually means that it all starts with us. But the question is, can that remain, and should that be your long term strategy? Personally, I don’t think so.
 
For me there is an element of, at this stage in my Business Plan, (even prior to my illness) that included finding associates; partners and collaborators to work with during 2019. Why?
 
Our new collaboration will see us work long term with our very good friends and fellow Coaches Helena Holrick and Kelly Tyler. Helena, Kelly and I have known each other now for around four years and throughout all that time Helena and I, in particular, have talked about the potential for us to work together more closely - but the time had not been right to do so until now.
 
When we started talking seriously about this it was clear that both Helena and I have a long history of working collaboratively with a number of individuals and organisations. It’s something we both show a natural aptitude for.
 
The benefits are clear:
  • To keep it fresh (for me and my Coachees)
  • To enjoy it more on a personal level - getting a new buzz
  • To introduce new ideas - to you and me
  • Bringing a new level of thinking to my Business (helping me to sense check my thinking for growth and direction)
  • To introduce new energy into the the Business as a whole
For many people starting out in Business for the first time the notion of introducing their hard won audience / client base to someone else who might be considered ‘competition’ may seem non-sensical. Why would you want to risk it?
 
But, in reality to grow a successful long term Business you will need to adjust your thinking on this because at some point your audience is going to need more than you.
 
So, the most sensible thing to do is to pre-empt this and be the person that provides them with the broader solution. It takes confidence, which may take some time, but it will pay dividends.
 
Kate and I have watched with interest as Members of our Business Community have made alliances; developed their own Groups; traded Coaching Sessions with each other and created some joint ventures along the way. It was always a specific goal of ours to create a space both physically and online where this would happen.
 
But if you haven’t done this yet, how do you go about finding the right people to collaborate/partner with?
 
Well, first you need to decide what type of collaboration you want to make...
How committed will this relationship be going forward?
 
Who will you need ‘to be’ to collaborate in the way that you want to... what are the compromises you will be willing to make in order to grow?
 
Once you’ve decided, you can then start the process of considering all the people who are currently in your circle.
 
Who would make the best fit with you; and your clients? This is a vitally important stage in the process - you may need to ‘kiss a lot’s frogs’ in order to find your best fit! So, don’t jump in too quickly.
 
Who do you have a shared Vision with?
 
This will be a many layered relationship - from the Heart, through the Head and to all the Practicalities of how things will work. In its fullest form this needs to be someone who you would hang out with given the chance.
 
So, ask yourself - is this a person you’d happily have dinner with on a regular basis?
 
Well, that’s probably an affiliate level of arrangement or is it someone who you would have stay at your home for the weekend... now you’re talking a true multifaceted collaboration!
 
So, I go back to my original question to you -
 
Is it time that you started to Collaborate and offer yourself and your customers a whole new level of support?
 
As ever until next week,
 
Karen

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