The word collaboration has been the buzzword in modern startup culture, youth culture and creative circles of different kinds of movers and shakers. Collaboration has not only become a go to consideration for getting things done, but it has grown to become and integral part of business and social change for millennials. As we have become accustomed to the notion propagated by Baby Boomers that millennials are lazy and disloyal to their employers — which is unequivocally wrong — millennials the world over have found ways to work on their ideas whilst holding down 9 to 5 jobs. The tenacity of these millennials should be applauded and the new culture of collaboration should be celebrated.
The purpose of this opinion editorial is to investigate the importance of the culture of collaboration by delving deep into the idea of purpose-driven collaboration.
The following image depicts some of the initial fundamental elements required from the partners involved in a particular collaboration.
A strong will to act, sacrifice, direction and timing are the key pillars of purpose-driven collaboration. For the collaborators to filter through the noise and everything that comes with collaboration being a cool trend, clear goals need to be set. After setting the goals, the collaborators have to look at and assess their strengths. The goals can be seen as the direction element of the entire collaboration — this is where you establish your Why.
Sure, setting goals and coming up with brilliant ideas that will revolutionize the way things are done and change the way the world is, is fun and all but it is not the most important part of the process. A strong work ethic coupled with the willingness to sacrifice some of your luxuries as well as an unshakeable will to act when the situation calls for work to be done. There is nothing more annoying than an imbalance in an collaborative effort, whether it is a long-term partnership or a short-term one. If you, as a collaborator, feel that you are all alone doing the work then I advise you to jump ship and assume a DIY approach or find someone that has the same work ethic as you.
The world is filled with a lot of talkers and not a lot of action-driven people. Some talkers masquerade as action-driven people and will have you convinced that you’re on the right track and you will be left to do all the work yourself — beware of those kinds of people, they will sell you dreams.
Timing is everything and you cannot get timing right if plans are not put in place. Before jumping into a collaboration, first assess where your idea is in terms of growth, assess where your collaborators idea is, analyzing the gaps and see where alignment can be made.
The following image depicts the three key elements that will guarantee success in collaboration.
You need dedicated people who have a strong will to act, who are willing to make sacrifices with regards to the collaboration, who have set goals(direction) and an understanding of the importance. If you are still starting out and are employed you will have to bootstrap to account for the shortage of resources. If your venture is your only focus and your only source of income, your time is your value. You have to understand that you are also a resource to your own idea and a resource to the collaboration you’re embarking on.
They say time is money and if you do not have money you have time. Purpose-driven collaborations happen when like-minded individuals who possess the same qualities in work ethic, perspective and the urge to disrupt the way things are done. So don’t just talk about it — be about it.
Anything done independently is challenging, so you should walk into every collaboration or project with an attitude that exudes a workhorse-like mentality. The idea is not the most important part, the work required to make the idea work is the most crucial. Procrastination is your biggest enemy.
So go out there and build connections that will enable you to form purpose-driven collaborations that will eventually change the world.