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#7 Be Successful: how to collaborate

Collaboration is two or more people working together towards a shared goal. When we collaborate, we create, we improve and we solve problems, and, more often than not, we do it faster and better than we would do alone.

In this guide we explore examples of great collaboration, the lessons we can learn and count down the top ten tips of how to collaborate successfully.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” Kenneth Blanchard

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Before we begin… It’s worth noting that collaboration is NOT the same as cooperation.

Collaboration means two or more people supporting each other to achieve the same goal.

Cooperation, on the other hand, means two or more people supporting each other to achieve their own separate goals.

A good example of collaboration would be a band: a group of people playing different instruments to produce the same tune. They all have different skills but the goal is single, shared and harmonious.

Collaboration is the secret AND the key to many a successful business and world-changing innovation.

Collaboration is a way of thinking

Let’s explore collaboration. Find out about the benefits it brings and how you can collaborate to increase your chances of success!

Sometimes collaboration can feel effortless. Sometimes it can be frustrating. Sometimes disappointing, but without collaboration we wouldn’t have the lifestyle, culture and technology we enjoy today.

Without collaboration countless great ideas and inventions wouldn’t have got off the ground. Micro Oiseau is a collaboration. It has taken the talents of many people with one goal for you to be able to read this today. We are here to support your success. And, by reading and sharing our guides, you are an important part of ours.

Humans are hardwired to collaborate

Collaboration requires people to share what they know to create something bigger and better than they could achieve on their own.

Over many thousands of years humans have been hardwired to share skills for survival; to hunt for larger prey and build stronger shelters to better protect family groups.

Today, although we may not need to fend off a sabre tooth tiger or build our own homes, we are no different in that we all have skills we can combine with others to achieve a common purpose. When we do this we become stronger, wiser and more resilient.

In order to collaborate well we need to be open to new ideas, new opportunities and ways of doing things. We need to be able to SHARE.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, GO TOGETHER.” African proverb

How far do you want to go?

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Be open to opportunity

“Following a plan is good for progress. Opportunity, however, usually exists off the plan.” Simon Sinek

Being open-minded and curious about everything and everyone will mean that you are far more likely to spot a great opportunity. It is also often true that these opportunities come from unexpected places, including this great example of successful collaboration between medicine and fashion.

Dr Roger Kneebone (as his name suggests!) is a doctor and professor at Imperial College in London. Dr Kneebone also has a reputation for unusual and creative collaborations to solve problems. One of these collaborations has been his work with the famous English tailor Patrick Grant.

Dr Kneebone was concerned about patients who were struggling with recovering from their surgical wounds. These wounds could be slow and painful to heal. In particular, Dr Kneebone noticed that a lot of problems were caused by the poor stitching of the surgeons. It was clear that surgeons were so focused on the medical procedure that their ability to sew neatly, or well at all, was not questioned.

Dr Kneebone turned to expert tailor Patrick Grant, who agreed to collaborate with a group of surgeons on developing new stitching techniques. The collaboration of tailor and surgeon resulted in faster, neater and better stitching with patients recovering quicker, needing less pain medication and with fewer scars.

If you had the choice between a surgeon who understood the benefits of neat stitching and could sew, and one who just gave it their best shot, which one would you choose?

Often you need to look outside your experience and expertise to improve something or solve a problem. Creative collaboration means watching out for and welcoming new and sometimes surprising collaborators.

Find out more about Professor Roger Kneebone and his enlightening collaborations.

A collaborative mind is curious and democratic.
Ask yourself, “How can my shared skills be used to solve a problem?”

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