How did we go from working on a kitchen table, in a garage and renovated chicken coop to having completed over 480 projects in 18 years in a 65,000 square foot production space and 12,000 square foot office space? It was collaboration of diverse talents converging to create something that did not exist before. Collaboration is the process of shared creation. It is the merging of differences. It’s two or more individuals with complementary skills or knowledge interacting to create a process, a product, an innovation or a company.
Leadership today is about building collaboration. Leaders are responsible for building organizations or teams where people continually expand their capabilities. It’s a constant process of learning and changing. Leaders need to meld together teams that collectively work to solve new problems. Collaboration creates unique connections to improve problem solving and creativity that no one could do alone. It requires a diverse knowledge and ways of looking at the world. This leadership does not have to come from the top. Anyone has the opportunity to create collaboration. This is the biggest opportunity for transformation. Transformational creativity results when a group either thinks of a new way to frame a problem or finds a new problem to solve.
How can you get 10X the results by expanding your collaboration? You have your skills and others have theirs. What you struggle with others don’t. If you merge these assets you can get better and bigger results.
Answer these 20 questions:
- What’s the biggest problem if solved would make the biggest difference?
- What would it look like if that problem was solved?
- Is there a problem that no one has thought of before or a new way to frame an old problem?
- Who has knowledge, assets or resources you don’t?
- What type of partnerships could you develop that would allow both of you to solve the problem and achieve your goals?
- How can you help other people with their problems?
- How can you build a network of people with diverse knowledge, skill and resources? For instance, who can you call with a business, personal, creative or financial problems?
- What type of skills and knowledge are you lacking? Create a list of areas where you need help and develop a group of people as sounding boards.
- Who are your current partners, coworkers or friends and what can they offer?
- Who are the deep experts or influential people in this area or who could help speed the process?
- If you could change anything about your job, processes, people or life what would it be?
- What results are you not getting?
- How open are you to divergent thinking or sparks of dissent?
- How open are you to change?
- What processes can you create?
- What challenges are you experiencing?
- What are the opportunities?
- Who do you want to work with?
- What are you willing to risk to improve your results?
- How can this create more value?
Taylor Studios is a combination of art and business. It literally started with the merging of my business knowledge, I have an MBA, and Joe’s artistic skills. Since then we have continually added diverse new talent to our team. Sometimes the team that brainstorm a problem will include a finance person, an artist, an engineer, a designer and an estimator. Often we bring in outside talent too. We also partner with other firms to win and complete projects we could have never done alone. Personally, I have a diverse network of trusted advisors I rely on to help improve my life. This way I can concentrate on what I do best, running a small company and I can lean on them in other areas of life. Many are other business owners with different skill sets that give me new ways to think and don’t hesitate to give me tough love.
“If we worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true really is true, then there would be little hope for advance.” ~ Orville Wright
If two men can work together to give us wings, imagine what you could do if you collaborated with others?