To collaborate or not to collaborate...

origanius pietverhoeve Aug 11, 2022
Piet Verhoeve - Is your strategy still based on African proverb?"

Do you know African proverbs? I guess you certainly heard this one before:

“If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”.

In my keynotes on smart collaboration, I like to use this proverb in the opening sentences to challenge the audience. It tells us that doing things alone allows you to take speed as you don’t need to wait for your partner. However, on long journeys it is better to take partners along to keep you motivating each other to reach your ambitious destination.

I’ve heard it being used on many occasions to explain that collaboration is the slow way to proceed and since time-to-market and speed are essential for all organizations many conclude that doing it alone will yield faster results.

I don't agree with this line of thought.

The African proverb is no longer valid when it is applied to today’s fast changing world.

Especially when technologies are involved, regardless of the sector, it is impossible to master or even explore all possible future scenarios to build a future proof strategy for your organization.

Wanting to do everything on your own is like the not-invented-here-syndrome. Reinventing the wheel might be an interesting experience, you might learn a lot on how wheels are built, but it certainly will be a lot slower than collaborating with a partner that knows how to build wheels.

Smart Collaboration is the best approach to pick up speed.

Successful partnerships will speed up your time to results as well as the quality of these results. Hence it is key to master setting up successful partnerships.

So how do you set up successful partnerships?

From our experience five aspects are important:

  • Know the difference between partners vs subcontractors
  • Create partner profiles before you start your search
  • Pitch for collaboration based on the collaboration space technique
  • Communicate, listen, and understand what partners are (not) saying
  • Build collaboration based on clear roles using the Win-Win-Canvas.

It’s about avoiding common pitfalls, and good preparation to build collaborative partnerships. We transformed our large experience into trainings & tools, so you can skip the tedious trial & error learning curve. The trainings allow you to jump ahead and use our tools & good practices to start building successful partnerships immediately.

Do you want to forge ahead with smart collaboration? Send me DM or check my website.

Want to know more on this article or do you have questions? Contact me!


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