Based on true stories (names changed to protect the guilty)…
Helen: James, great to see you again!
James: Helen, it’s been a long time! What have you been up to?
Helen: Oh, lots of things! But the biggest news is that I’m working on a potential large-scale project with a software development company. They’re having trouble with employee morale.
James: Wow, that’s interesting because I’ve recently worked out a powerful method of selecting the right people for selecting team members and leaders. And then getting team members to work well together. It’s called the “I-Factor Method.”
Helen: “Really? That sounds great!
James: Yes, it really works well and I have stats, testimonials, and case studies to back it up. My only problem is there’s just one of me and I don’t have the time or energy to handle all the work.
Helen: Well consider your problem solved. I’ve been using an approach that I call the “Fruit Fly Factor.” This approach is revolutionary; it allows the users to essentially clone themselves and leverage their time and energy.
James: No kidding. Well if we could put the “I-Factor Method” together with the “Fruit Fly Factor,” we’d be sitting on a gold mine!
Helen: Yeah, that’s a great idea!
James: Let’s start a business together!
Helen: Yeah, lets!
James: Let’s shake on it!
Helen and James both burned a lot of midnight oil, trying to get their business model off the ground.
They were so excited about this new business idea, that both of them took their attention away from their existing businesses. So now cash flow was a big problem.
But after a year of struggling to agree on marketing plans, their marketing message, and compensation formulas, Helen and James were barely on speaking terms.
Yeah, I know. This scenario sounds overly simplistic, doesn’t it? But the sad reality is this type of scenario plays itself out, in various shapes and forms, on a daily basis.
Last year, I wrote an article about the power of collaboration, through the experiences of young children working on a project together: Is the “Competitive Advantage” Really An Advantage? The Case for “Collaborative Advantage”. It turns out that that younger children were more effective in working together than the older ones. As adults in business, the problem is that most of us don’t understand where to start, what to consider, what to ask, or how to proceed, when it comes to working with others, either formally or informally.
So whether working together in a formal partnership, a joint venture, a consortium of businesses, or some other form of collaboration, most of these undertakings are doomed from the start.
Most people get so excited about their ideas and about working together, that they missed key steps of laying a solid foundation for their collaborative efforts.
And one of those key steps is writing out your agreements. Agreements are simply statements of what you are committed to achieving, how you will work together, who is responsible for what, and so forth.
Not exactly the first place you’d think to start. It’s just not as exciting as working on your product development, or going out to market your services. But in the absence of agreements, chaos reigns.
In my own business experience, I’ve been burned more than once through lack of agreements. And so have some of my clients (before they started working with me).
These experiences fueled my quest to figure out how to successfully collaborate with others, formally and informally. Fortunately, I came across the work of Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D.
As a specialist in supporting healthy, happy relationships, Dorene has used her background as a social worker, therapist, and coach to help countless entrepreneurs and business leaders achieve success—in spite of seemingly insurmountable differences with their business partners, colleagues, and collaborators.
Based on our shared commitment to ushering in a new economic era based on connection, collaboration, and communication, Dorene and I are both on a mission to support entrepreneurs in learning how to work with others, synergistically and in ways that ripple benefits far beyond the business itself.
If you are considering or currently are working on a joint effort with one or more other people, we would like to share our combined experience, ideas, and insights for how to get started on a solid foundation.
Join us on Tuesday, January 17th at 5pm Pacific Time for the “Collaboration Catalyst” teleseminar.
During this 75-minute session, you’ll learn:
- Why working with others is the business model of the future.
- The single most important place to start when considering working with one or more individuals or businesses.
- How to select and choose good collaborators.
- The three essential elements you need in your agreements, the absence of which will guarantee failure.
- And much, much more.
Who can benefit?
If you are currently involved in one or more of the following (or planning to be), there’s a good chance you’ll learn things that could mean the difference between outrageous success and costly failure:
- Joint venture
- Strategic alliance
- Working on a team
P.S. If you’re sick and tired of working as a “Lone Ranger,” with or without a “Tonto,” be sure to join us. What we have to share will open your mind to another world of practical options!
P.P.S. Even if you’re not interested in learning about working more effectively with others, I invite you to read the article I mentioned above what young children can teach us about the power of collaboration. Here’s the link again: Is the “Competitive Advantage” Really An Advantage? The Case for “Collaborative Advantage”