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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Power of Collaboration 05-27

The Power of Collaboration

Years before I joined Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in 2009, I always supported the efforts of groups to work together, and urged my friends and associates to do the same. There is something truly awesome about a project or event where people come together - giving their expertise, connecting with people they hardly knew, and learning something in the process. There is an old saying in business: "If you want to be incrementally better: Be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better: Be cooperative."

I agree. Substantive collaboration produces a powerful ripple effect and has limitless value. I had no idea how much the Twitter Powerhouses Series would resonate internationally whenYasamin Beitollahi and I mapped it out on a 60 minute phone call in December of 2009. Moreover, one of my recent posts, "What is Success?", shined a light on 50 Huffington Post bloggers from all over the world. (36 of them can be seen in this collage to the left). And thanks to an original promotional campaign in social media, that post continues to benefit everyone involved.
From interactions with folks online, to conversations with attendees at conferences, a great truth always emerges: the world is filled with brilliant, creative, action-oriented people. I am truly honored to have worked with many of them. As I think about the many endeavors I've participated in over the years, I can say wholeheartedly that there are many phenomenal benefits to collaborating with others. Here are three:
  • It Forces You to Think About More Than Yourself - I know what my ideas are regarding event planning. But whenever I co-organize anything, I make an effort to ask what the other event producers have in mind. This let's them know that their ideas matter. And besides, you often find out other ways of implementing something that you didn't consider.
  • It's a Great Networking Opportunity - We all have a comfort zone. Introducing ourselves to individuals we don't know can take you out of that. And that's alright. The payoff could be huge for you. As my friend Emily Thomas pointed out recently, "Networking is a way of life for successful people. They know it’s not just who you know—but who the people you meet know too."
  • You Are Celebrating the Idea of a "More Connected Planet" - It is always a great day for humanity when we connect, create and work with people from different backgrounds - on both a micro and macro level. As billions and billions more come online the first time (likely during this decade), connectivity will take on an extraordinary new meaning. Indeed, Connectivity + Collaboration could end up equaling Global Transformation. We should all be excited about the partnerships and opportunities that are clearly on the way.
So don't be afraid to reach out to others, and go work with them. You'll know early on if people are all talk and no action. We have all worked with them at some point in our careers, haven't we? 
The right fit is unmistakable: someone with the energy, vision, a belief in reciprocity, and a track record of collaborative ventures. When that person appears, seize the day! Don't shortchange yourself because everyone deserves a shot at greatness. Even you. Perhaps some occasional collaboration could be the necessary foundation for your future success. Make it happen.

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