Gone are the days of working in isolation, with decisions being made at the top and subordinates executing mindlessly. The doors that keep employers and employees apart have crumbled, with most companies opting for an open door policy and free flowing work spaces.
Work spaces that house multiple companies are fast becoming the norm, like a laundromat combined with a coffee shop (so you can have coffee while you wait for your clothes), I’ve even seen an internet cafe joined with a hair salon (and clothing store). Spaces that collaborative in nature bring together different entities to achieve a common or individual goal.
Diversity and Inclusivity:
These 2 words have become part of of our everyday vocabulary, with organisations everywhere pushing to be more inclusive and creating spaces that reflect the world we live in. Collaboration is an important part of diversifying the workplace because it allows for different opinions and perspectives to be shared. By collaborating and bringing other people in, organisations benefit because they get access to a variety of skills which can actually save time and money. It can also save companies from PR disasters like H&M’s coolest monkey in the jungle and Doves racially insensitive advert (all of them). One wonders if these incidents could’ve been avoided if teams creating the work were as diverse and inclusive as they appeared to be.
Arrive at solutions faster:
As previously mentioned when organisations collaborate they have a wider pool of skills to draw from, as well as different perspectives and insights that they can use. This multitude of talents and thoughts allows for more effective problem solving. The workload is shared amongst the team, with each member working on what they do best instead of overwhelming one person with tasks that they can’t complete effectively because they lack the skills and insights. When members of the team share their perspectives, you’ll find that solutions are arrived at faster and better.
A competitive advantage:
A diverse team or working with another organisation is a great way for businesses to overcome challenges and maintain a competitive advantage. Aligning yourself with your competitor or another organisation in your sector, you can tap into their skills pool, technology and market. It’s also a great way to learn from your competitor to better your organisations process.
Puma and Rihanna – in 2014 Puma collaborated with the Barbadian songbird, Rihanna on a collection that gave birth to Fenty Puma by Rihanna. The collaboration was the brand’s way of attracting more women consumers; collaborating with Rihanna allowed the brand to tap into her millions of flowers and fresh take on sports apparel. Rihanna benefits from the support of Puma, she gets to make use of existing infrastructures and not have to establish her own and has the freedom to make the clothes that she wants to without having to worry about constraints of funding, manufacturing and distribution.
A case for collaboration:
Honestly, if your organisation is still stuck in the old way of doing things then and it works for them, then great but I’m going to recommend you try creating a more collaborative work environment. Most successful organisations are reaping the rewards of working this way. They are an effective way of building business, boosting awareness and entering into new markets.