Guest post by Elyse Savaki, Solutions Adviser
It’s a good month after ASAE, and Tim Sharp’s Small Staff session, Creative Collaboration: Working and Playing Well with Others, still has my wheels turning. He spoke about using the following strategies whether the collaboration is between your organization and another, or between individual colleagues. So without further ado…
Create a unifying goal. These goals should unite the two parties around a common passion. Between individuals, this might be around a particular educational offering or lobbying effort. Finding a unifying goal helps individual personalities put competitions and “ownership” aside, and helps to...
Incite the value of teamwork. Rallying the troops around a common passion is a great start. Clearly identifying and reinforcing how the value of the collaboration is greater than the sum of its parts can help sustain the spirit when the going gets tough.
Pro-Tip: Connecting personally goes a long way towards a team’s success. Tim told us about his team’s evolution from dinner meetings at restaurants, to cooking dinner together for meetings, and finally renovating their office kitchen together. While construction may not be your thing, what opportunities does your team have to build stronger relationships daily?
Continually speak the language of success. This is just what it sounds like--speak about your collaboration in positive terms to help the entire team continue to visualize its success.
Empower each other to change the culture. Whether it’s colleagues or organizations joining forces on a project, bringing individuals together who don’t normally intersect is bound to breed new ideas. Opening up and encouraging that possibility could help set the table for even more successful collaboration down the road.
And last but not least...
Celebrate your results!! Even the small ones. Congratulations and cupcakes anyone? How can your team celebrate their successes every day?
A final word: Any time you bring people together, there will be challenges. Tim closed with a great quote about dealing with challenge and conflict from Wilma Mankiller, first female chief of the Cherokee Nation:
“Cows run away from the storm while the buffalo charges toward it – and gets through it quicker. Whenever I’m confronted with a tough challenge, I do not prolong the torment, I become the buffalo.”
So there you have it. Stay positive, open, and meet your challenges head-on with these strategies to successful collaboration in mind.