It seems to me that collaboration and trust go together like peanut butter and jelly, or spaghetti and meatballs, you really can’t have one without the other. This may be the most important and yet the hardest concept of collaboration to embrace. We have been brought up to ‘be careful’ with people companies and even concepts, ‘be careful’ that your don’t get taken advantage of, ‘be careful’ that someone doesn’t steal from you, ‘be careful’ that a company doesn’t rip you off. It seems that ‘be careful’ is just another way of saying that I don’t trust you. This is now where the concept of assume innocence should be introduced again. This is exactly why I spoke of the concept of assume innocence earlier in my discussions on collaboration. Now this can be tied together to help you to build a truly valuable collaborative partnership.
I’ve also spoken earlier about ‘the leap of faith’, this is where you have evaluated all of your reasons and potential risks and you decide that for this one time you are going to take that risk. Taking that risk, or taking that leap of faith is very scary and I don’t suggest that you do this lightly. Taking that leap of faith does not mean go out and be foolish; taking that leap of faith means that you have performed a careful evaluation and there are an even amount of pros and cons that you have identified, there are no clear deciding factors and yet you feel that the benefits are worth the risks. You can always talk yourself out of a decision, that’s not what this is about, this is about asking another question - ‘why not?’
You may be saying to yourself that I have not introduced any life altering new concepts and you would be absolutely correct! Moving forward is not always new concepts, that killer app is not always a brand new concept. I have come to realize that the vast majority of time, the breakthrough or the killer app is the result of a journey made up of many trials and revisions along the way. You should always move forward in a thoughtful manner but don’t let your thoughtful manner box you in and box you out of the next new breakthrough.
These discussions on collaboration and building a collaborative partnership have helped me to verbalize the the risks and rewards. These discussions have also helped me to investigate and also embrace important concepts that I feel must be evaluated in order to develop a robust collaborative partnership. These discussions have also helped me to reevaluate some concepts that I may have played lip service in the past only to come to realize how important and beneficial these concepts are.
And now for the audience participation portion of the show…
Have you considered the impact of words on your team culture? How do phrases and gestures add to your communications? How do you build a cross cultural relationship? Have you dealt with an overseas outsourcing provider? How did you navigate the communication and cultural differences?