Collaboration is a very powerful tool. When you co-create solutions with your customers, the end result will solve real problems for real people. Bring a group of customers together, understand their common concerns and through a disciplined process of shared learning, you will arrive at innovative solutions for their challenges. The collaborators will take pride in their contributions and spread the word to their friends and colleagues.
Through the collaboration process you also learn to articulate your organization’s value proposition in a language that is meaningful to all your customers, rather than simply touting the features of your product or service.
While many organizations realize the significant benefits of collaborating with customers, only a few are able to realize it in practice. The fact is, collaboration is hard! And it is as much an art as it is a science. An organization cannot collaborate effectively with customers until it figures out how to collaborate within its four walls.
Collaboration @ Forte
At Forte, we truly believe in collaboration for collaboration’s sake. It is a means and an end. We seek out coworkers from different functional areas and work together to solve a problem or drive an initiative. Not every decision or solution needs to cure cancer. Right from ‘what should we do for the holiday party’ to ‘what are the ways we can improve our interview process,’ we are all in it together. This makes collaboration second nature to the entire Forte team.
When you bring together a group of people with a shared purpose, mission, and cause, their entire focus is on the outcome. They’re in it together to create the most elegant solution for the problem–not bickering about whose idea it is, not clamoring to be credited for brilliant insight, but focusing on the solution. Quite often when we finish a discussion, it’s not clear whose idea it is.
I welcome you to share your experiences with collaboration in the comments below.