Collaboration is a buzz word of our generation.
People have begun to see the increasing value of allowing others to have a voice in what they do. Our organization, Plywood People, has a set of 6 guiding values we hope to exemplify. It’s a short list.
We keep a short list so we can actually focus on them, and collaboration is at the top of the value system.
There’s great value in strategically adding outside voices to the conversation after an idea has been conceived and is beginning to be implemented.
We all have fears in collaboration. You might tell me that you’re afraid your idea might be stolen or that, by collaborating with others, you’ll use up your most creative ideas helping them. Maybe you think that if you allow someone else to speak into your project, they’ll generate more work for you than you’re able to do or that you’ll spend the time collaborating and come up with no more good ideas or processes than you had before you started.
Well, the truth is, all of these things could happen. But I don’t think they are valid enough fears to stop the opportunity of collaboration. We need each other.
I believe strongly in collaboration because I think 4 important things happen when we engage in labor with others.
1. Collaboration naturally creates accountability.
Once you’ve shared what you’re doing with someone else, you can be certain next time you see or talk to them, they’re going to ask you about it. They want to see it succeed because they’ve invested in it, and you then feel the deeper responsibility to make it happen.
2. Collaboration helps us define the non-negotiables.
Sometimes, we get so tied to the way our organization has done things in the past that we have trouble seeing another way. It helps to invite someone else into the conversation that sees the world from a different viewpoint to help recognize what is negotiable and what is not. What NEEDS to stay and what can be amended.