Modern day business practices embrace collaboration like never before. The idea that partnership yields greater outcomes than a solo effort is firmly ensconced in the philosophy of business. Whether it’s strengthening complementary competencies, backward-forward linkages, or expanding into new markets, working collaboratively is the secret sauce for a successful business. Business collaboration solidifies the foundations our ventures were built on while gaining the flexibility to diversify our offerings.
However, it’s not enough to just be on board with business collaborations; it’s just as important to look at how to make those collaborations value propositions by making them more effective in a meaningful way.
For any sized business – whether a startup, or a small business, or multinational mainstay – the power of collaboration can produce sustainable growth and longevity. In this day and age, almost every aspect of a business is dependent on a strategic partnership. Executives have long understood the value of the relationships between partners, such as manufacturers, suppliers, technology companies, lenders, and investors. In fact, 85% of companies view finding strategic partners as critical or essential to their business, and around 60% are focused on developing a strategy for finding strategic partners. There will be failures along the way, as some companies will attempt collaboration only to be met with limited success. However, if most companies restart and then reimagine the nature of their strategic relationships, more value can be gleaned from their collaborations.
“The power of collaboration can produce sustainable growth and longevity”
In order to avoid those potential pitfalls, it is vital to know if all parties in the collaboration possess the organizational capabilities and strategy alignment to make the collaboration a triumph. Leadership must consider what is required and determine if a solid foundation is there. The process of finding a suitable partner should be formulated based on factors that benefit both large and small entities and support cross-organizational leadership. Evolving consumer needs, the meteoric rise of competitors, and the exponential improvements made in technology have created a need for a new model for large companies. This new paradigm has forced large companies to seek the value of collaborating with smaller companies, such as outsourcing specialists or third-party administrators, which can reinforce their market position. At the same time, the smaller company benefits by deploying its expertise and technology on a larger scale and reinvesting in the enhancements of its product offering, thereby increasing its value proposition to existing and future customers.
“The relationship between large and small companies can be invigorating, but only if communication is free and open”
Converting individual perspectives into collective intelligence is a powerful yet under-utilized tool. We’ve come a long way and have become progressively better at it than we were just a few short years ago. But improved efficiency can foster an attitude of complacency…and if digital transformation has taught us anything, it’s that if you stand still, you’re going to fall behind. We must be vigilant against the urge to congratulate ourselves on the progress we’ve made in order to properly gauge where improvements can be made. The idea of collaborating sounds simple because of the lessons learned and the improvements made along the way. But in a world where every topic of discussion imaginable is divisive, getting individuals to come together to achieve organizational goals is a big ask. The relationship between large and small companies can be invigorating, but only if communication is free and open. This is the bedrock of an effective collaboration and partnership. In other words, the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts.
- sciencedirect.com, Cues of working together fuel intrinsic motivation
- cmocouncil.org, Grow From the Right Intro