The trend is collaboration. Collaboration is the new competition. Organizations are acknowledging that even their best individual efforts cannot solve today’s complex problems. Because of the urgency of global problems we gradually realize that we share common problems. That means we have similar goals to achieve and achieve fast. Collaboration allows us to tackle a common problem by bringing together different perspectives and skills. When it works, the combined brainpower of intelligent people can solve complex problems and achieve amazing results. By mobilizing resources from different partners, we get things done more efficiently, effectively and sustainably.
Drivers of collaboration include Austerity, Impact, Complexity, Culture, Systems. Austerity means we have to make better use of limited resources and combine efforts to maximize output with minimal input. Impact works from the effectiveness approach. With collaboration, organizations can achieve a collective impact. Complexity addresses the social change argument. To solve complex problems, we need to bring together different skills and expertise. Culture addresses the environment we are trying to impact. Collective effort is necessary to overcome a broad context of barriers. Systems require that we address society’s problem in a systemic manner. These drivers help us see reasons on how and why collaboration is key.
To succeed in collaboration, we need to approach strategically. Some important factors to consider include; choosing collaborators carefully, choosing committed individuals and organizations, establishing a proper communication strategy. For collaboration to be successful, appropriate collaborators who share similar vision must be chosen. Likeminded people are more likely to work effectively together. Also, it is important to establish a structured and simple communication channel. This helps to void misunderstanding or unclear expectations. Collaborators must also be committed. It can be frustrating to work with uncommitted and unreliable people. This may delay progress and put wrenches in plans. There are some challenges to collaboration. When collaborators come together, decision making can be longer, thus delaying implementation.
Open collaborative forums and crowdfunding platforms are some ways to collaborate with likeminded people. Some crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, Gogetfunding, Earlyshares, IPO village, IndieGoGo, RocketHub, Appbackr, GoRaiseFunds, Kiva etc. Online community platforms also include Change.org, Idealist, Nabuur, OpenIDEO, Social Edge, TakingitGlobal, ETC. There are numerous ones, these are just few examples. The success of collaborative efforts largely depends on commitment. We must be ready to work together to design solutions to the world’s biggest problems.