As a reader of this blog, you are well aware of what I am about to say - effective collaboration can only be achieved through a holistic approach consisting of the 4 P’s: Purpose, People, Process and Place.
And while I am in agreement with this approach, I firmly believe that PEOPLE is the most important of the 4 P’s. Without people, there would be no collaboration. You need other PEOPLE around you to work with you in your PLACE to identify a PURPOSE and collaborate within your business PROCESSES.
So who are the people that are most important in collaboration?
- They are the people doing the collaborating
- They are the people using the tools
- They are the people running the processes
However, there are a lot of people affected by collaboration - and not just the people doing the collaborating themselves. So, who benefits from successful collaboration?
Internal Team Members - These are the people who are working with you and around you within your collaboration processes. You know how to talk with them to produce the best outcome possible, and you are aware of their activity throughout the day. Collaboration keeps everyone connected and working together for the greater good of the business, and of themselves.
Clients - In any client-facing position, you will be communicating with your clients frequently. With this communication comes the needs to work together to make decisions about improving the program, acquiring more services and producing a quality outcome. When clients are integrated into the collaboration processes and tools outlined by the firm with which they work, they feel more connected to the firm and have a greater impact on the success of their program.
Customers - If you are providing a product or service to your customers, open the doors to collaboration to let them feel connected to your brand and to get insight in to their needs and wants stemming from your business. Open up a collaboration channel for customers to voice their opinions, and to sound off on company news and product updates. You’ll love the feedback you get, and your customers will feel a greater stake in the success of the company.
Contractors - Many businesses take advantage of contractors to help them complete their workload efficiently and effectively. By managing all collaboration and communication within one system between your company and your contractors, you are ensuring work is communicated effectively between your people, so contractors know exactly what they are supposed to be working on and how to get it done.
Supervisors/Owners/CEOs - The heads of any business need to be aware of the work that is going on in the business, as well as the communication and collaboration around that work. Collaboration tools can provide an overview of the work being done together by the team, so the supervisors are aware that progress is being made. Also, allowing the supervisors to collaborate with the executing team members gives additional insight into ways to potentially make the outcome better.
All in all, it’s not just the people doing the collaboration that can experience the full benefits of it, but the people around them as well. Collaboration has a great way of bringing all the people in a business together to achieve more than they every thought possible - together.
Dana Larson is the Marketing and Community Manager at OnePlace, an online business collaboration and business organization solution that increases the effectiveness of business communications and team productivity. A smart and outgoing gal, Dana and the rest of the OnePlace team blog regularly about team collaboration, project management, business techniques and productivity solutions at http://blog.oneplacehome.com. Follow OnePlace on Twitter: @oneplace.