Why Collaboration Is Important – 3 Key Reasons
In recent years, a complex world has forced people to develop more and more specialized skill sets. This is good when you need a specialist. But when you need to work on a complex project, collaboration is essential.
Collaboration has turned into one of those buzzwords that people throw around at random. But it’s actually an essential element of building a successful team. Without collaboration, you just have a bunch of independent specialists.
So, what is collaboration?
It’s when a group of people contribute their own individual skills for the benefit of a team. Think of all the work that goes into making a movie. A writer writes the script, a director plans the filming and stages the action. Actors interpret their parts, while the sound and lighting people ply their trades. Afterward, an editor finishes the job.
You wouldn’t hire a writer to do your special effects. You wouldn’t hire a director to do the makeup work. It’s a collaborative process that depends on a number of specialists.
Pretty much every organization requires collaboration. This can be informal – software engineers venting on a break – or formal. Many companies even utilize team collaboration software to make communication even easier.
But what makes this skill so important? Let’s look at three reasons your business can’t survive without collaboration.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
1. Collaboration Improves Efficiency
Independent work can be beneficial for a number of reasons. You can put all of your focus on a particular task, instead of spreading it out. You also don’t have to worry about getting interrupted by team meetings and other distractions. If you’re trying to hammer out a specific task, sometimes working alone is best.
But on more complex projects, working alone becomes inefficient. You’ll run into issues you aren’t familiar with, or don’t know how to fix. So instead of focusing on what you’re good at, you find yourself reinventing the wheel. This is where a collaborative team can help you out. Instead of shouldering all the work yourself, your teammates can handle the parts they’re better qualified for.
If you engender a collaborative spirit in your employees, your company will be better off for it. This isn’t just true for small businesses, either. Remote collaboration tools have made it easy for teams to communicate from across the globe.
2. Collaboration Makes Problem-Solving Easier
Along the same lines, it’s easy for a single person to run into a mental block. This happens even with experts who are working in their own field. Sometimes, your brain is stuck in a rut, and it seems like there’s no way forward on your task. That’s when good team relationships can help you out.
Schedule a session with your collaborative team and ask for their input. If it’s a mixed-skills team, they may have another perspective from their field. Even if you’re all in the same field, they may see the problem from a different angle than you do. This kind of effective collaboration helps you to focus on your common goal and work through your problems.
Collaboration shouldn’t just be something you do when you get into trouble. Team collaboration should be a core part of the way you do business. With modern technology, you can even use virtual meetings to keep remote teams in the loop.
3. Collaborative Teams Learn From Each-Other
One of the unsung benefits of collaboration is that it makes you a more well-rounded person. Through communication with team members who have different skills, you can learn more about your business. In other words, effective collaboration isn’t just good for your business. Done right, it can also increase your value as an employee.
To get the most out of these interactions, ask as many questions as you feel comfortable with. This is particularly important when your parts of the project overlap. A few simple questions early on can prevent a lot of headache later on. Not only that, but you’ll build stronger interpersonal relationships that can bear fruit down the road. And don’t forget about remote employees! They’re team members, too.
Last, remember that collaboration doesn’t stop with your own company’s employees. It’s also an essential part of building relationships with clients and subcontractors. Oftentimes, these people are key to your project success.
These are just a few of the major benefits of collaboration. No matter what your line of business, it’s essential to keep your team focused on their common goal.
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