An Unexpected Growth Strategy: Collaboration

An Unexpected Growth Strategy: Collaboration

“When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary ideas.” – Frans Johansson

A winning strategy for business often overlooked is collaboration. Recently, it became evident while meeting with a Board Developer client that there was a potential conflict of interest with one of the client’s verticals. One of their verticals offers a competitive service to one of Board Developer’s. I was surprised to learn we were vying for the same client and pitching similar proposals. I realized the business owner and I needed to have a strategic conversation and walk through how we could deal with this conflict and competitive issue. I could not help but wonder, if I give my client advice on how to grow their business, am I cannibalizing my own company?

Instead, I reframed the conversation. I asked my client if we could view this as a collaborative opportunity rather than drawing a line in the sand. I expressed I was not sure what that would look like, but that I wanted to explore how we could form a partnership between both companies to offer to the clients we are both pursuing. We began to discuss how our services could become complimentary as opposed to competing for the same dollar.

After defining what this collaboration could look like, we developed a dynamic service that blended the strengths of both companies. Instead of establishing boundaries between us based upon a conflict of interest, we pivoted to solve our perceived problem by creating a collaborative approach that has been highly desirable.

For you not to collaborate with other organizations that offer similar services is a disservice to your organization, clients, and future clients. The more you learn about services provided in the space you are in, the more you will have a profound impact on companies as they are seeking advice, input, and consultation from the services you provide. If your competition has something of value to add, consider what the opportunities could be. It may not be a service, but rather a summit, a webinar, an industry committee, etc…Focus on the synergies between the two entities.

As it pertains to any business, choosing to collaborate with people in the same field is logical and beneficialHowever, sometimes it is appropriate to consider a crossover collaboration with another industry that could produce an unexpected, highly profitable result. Try to approach collaboration differently. Partnering with other industries could expand the scope of community-driven efforts and enable both entities to create magic. For example, craft breweries are known to team up with musicians or bands to create unique beers with both brands on the label to connect with shared audiences. The point in both scenarios is to think outside of the box.

When thinking through a strategic alliance with other businesses or individuals:

  • Talk it over with someone outside of your organization
  • Consider companies or people that may not seem like the natural fit for a unique and fresh partnership.

When business growth levels out, forge a new path. Collaboration reimagines strategic opportunities and produces exponential results…