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4 Tips for Increasing Collaboration

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Here are 4 tips to improve collaboration:

1. Introducing a needs impact identifier to understand the desired outcome for the event – move beyond the focus on budget and timing.

Break down exactly what it is you need and communicate it clearly to your vendor. Most likely, your vendors have run across similar needs and as a result, have some great solutions or ideas.

2. Planning to include time for collaboration and innovation – short timelines and a focus on limited budget restricts idea generation that might achieve more.  

When you place time for collaboration into your planning, you create new opportunities and creativity. Including your vendor in the preparation also adds more mental diversity and increases brainpower around an idea, brainpower and experience you don’t need to hire.

3. Increasing communication – even a one-liner email indicating that there is no news can improve relationships.

Collaboration is born of trust and strength of the relationship. When you start treating your vendors and suppliers as valued team members, you gain more assets to solve more problems. Leadership requires doing more with less, which means bringing in allies to help solve problems or accomplish goals. Your vendor’s teams are resources that can often be utilized at a low cost.  

4. Using positive reinforcement to reward and encourage good behaviour – say thank you with impact by indicating how good work affected the outcome.

We often think of vendors and suppliers thanking us for purchasing their product. That’s a short-sighted view of any relationship. The reality we trade money for value. The relationship between the teams should show gratitude both ways. When your vendors help solve a real problem, thank them, they will be much more likely to help you in the future, much more likely to collaborate to solve complex problems. When you stop thinking of them as someone you buy things from and start considering them as an off-site team, you’ll find you can extend the capabilities of your team dramatically.

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