The power of collaboration in business is determined by one word; values.  

Sherri Henley

The Power of Collaboration in Business

In order for a collaboration between select parties to become powerful in business, both players must uphold a similar value system or it is destined for failure given time.  Partnering in name only is defeating the intended purpose of joining hands to develop a larger power house made of two entities linked as one! Linking online is only the beginning of this joint effort. Behind the scenes meetings, emails and body language are where true commitment to integrity in business is met or denied.  

How do we size up connections as collaborators? 

I like to call it a soft collaboration.  An effort requiring little effort.  For example…I recently had someone approach me about an idea.  Ideas are great!  Follow through is another thing all together.  In order to see if this person was serious about his creative aspirations I invited him to come to an event to talk afterward.  Guess what!  He showed up! We are still in negotiations which could take weeks, months or even years…but the bricks are being laid.  When you lay one brick at a time you are able to assess the foundation on a “lay as you go” basis. Rather than diving in deep I suggest wading in slowly.  

Create accountability:

A written agreement is as easy as an email.  Once negotiations are completed…get it in writing! Recently while sitting in a meeting with a high-ranking banker we were discussing the importance of following regulations.  He said, “I call email, evidence mail.” I asked if I could coin the phrase of which he gave me permission. Remember…evidence can and will be used against you…or for you.  Keep up your end of the bargain and hold your partner’s feet to the fire.

Renegotiate from time to time:

Be quick to act upon a renegotiation if you believe you are unable to follow through or the collaborative side becomes yesterdays baggage due to lack of commitment.  Also remember that dynamics evolve with time…change is constant.  It is important to revisit the table periodically to confirm that you are still on the same page with your partner.

Earn respect; Demand Loyalty:

Earning respect is a process that only time and stability will decide.  Loyalty is something that should be expected of hand holders.  When respect and loyalty meet; there is a match made in heaven…as neither can be bought or sold. You must earn respect and demand loyalty to support the power of collaboration in business.

Sherri Henley, Founder and CEO, Business Over Coffee International (BOCI) is a social media expert, key-note speaker and master collaborator.  For booking contact connect@businessovercoffee.biz or call 901-820-4469

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