Why is it that potential collaboration gets me hopping around with excitement? Well, I'll tell you. 1. Win-win. If you plan, talk, are sensible and agree terms, both win. We work on a project together, we both benefit from the outcome. A supportive atmosphere which is encouraging, motivating and creates a natural accountability is the best environment for thriving productivity. Talk a lot, give space for your ideas and be gentle with each other. Happy business at its best.
2. We know what we are getting into. We don't HAVE to collaborate. We choose. Therefore we work alone unless we know we can trust someone. No one is forcing us. That makes it great for people who love working with others; in a team or just with complementary brain cells. If you don't, that's fine too, don't. It's a choice. It's seeing how someone does it their way, adds a little touch, and, just by approaching, you communicate: I want some of that. A buy-in with a difference.
3. Great stuff actually happens. In the right blend of people, the blend of skills, humour and good nature, ideas take shape, thoughts are tossed around, developed and run with. Action, execution, result. Boom.
4. It's good for the human race. Two heads spread their wings and gather their communities in. Once they begin to integrate with each other, the ripple effect starts. Mixing, introducing, and guess what? More collaborating. Wonderful healthy networks, doing exactly the work they should.
But what if it goes wrong?
Firstly, assess without emotion. If reparable with 'Sorry', don't hesitate, just do it. This is about relationship and grace. Who cares if the fault is lesser on your side? Life is too short, and business too fragile, for ego. If it's damaged beyond repair, approach practicalities with calm and kindness. To come out of a crash steadily, you must be dignified and disciplined. Accept responsibility and write it off. If necessary, give more than you're going to take. Your whole business will depend on it. Avoid at all costs.
Don't pick just any other head. Watch, listen learn. Look for signs of processes, follow up and attitude of your potential colloborator. In most cases it will happen naturally. You will just 'click'. Keep in touch, allow natural timing but also don't just expect it to happen!