Collaboration occurs when two or more individuals or groups work together to accomplish a task or project. Collaboration is a partnership which can be either temporary or permanent. A collaborative culture is founded on shared values and a common vision or purpose.
Collaboration creates a system in which the power of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (the individual collaborators). The people work together and synergise with one another in such a way that many new possibilities and opportunities emerge. The group can achieve what would be impossible for the individuals if they were operating alone.
10 Benefits of Collaboration
Broader Communication Capacity
South Africa has 11 official languages. By collaborating across language-barriers, a group can reach a larger audience. For example, if 5 English-speaking people collaborate (but they each also have a unique home-language), then they can translate their content or product into 5 different languages.
Creative Solutions for Problems
Each individual offers valuable insight, however, their perspective may overlook certain elements of the problem. By involving a diverse array of people, there will be many different ideas and perspectives. This will lead to a more complimentary, dynamic, innovative, and effective solution.
A group of collaborators can handle a greater work load, while doing it quicker, and achieving an outcome of superior quality. People are more engaged when they are contributing to something meaningful; and if everyone focuses on their roles then the project will flourish!
A Beneficial Environment
A group can cultivate a beneficial environment of fun, energy, teamwork, encouragement, support, trust, confidence, morale, and open communication. Alone time is also important, but if one is always working alone it can become stagnant and alienating.
With the advancement of technology people can now collaborate over long distances in real-time. A group can be in multiple places at once, where as an individual can only be in one place at a time. This means that collaboration can facilitate solutions being implemented in multiple locations simultaneously.
Original and Elevated Innovations
Combining or merging multiple products or services can create something original, elevated and more innovative. We can take the good from 2 ideas and bring them into complimentary entity.
Increased Public Awareness
Collaborators can share audiences, supporters, and networks. This will enable all the collaborators to grow while getting more publicity and feedback. This could also lead to finding new collaboration partners.
Learning New Things
Through collaboration we learn from one another and are able to develop our skills, knowledge and experience. Working with other people also encourages improvements in communication, critical-thinking, mindfulness, and self-awareness. While the group grows, so do the individuals within it (and vice versa).
Resilience & Flexibility
Collaboration groups have the potential to be resilient and adaptive. We can cope well with challenges and change. We can support each another while the entity is re-organized or problem is solved.
By collaborating and adopting a broader sense of ownership we can share resources, such as: skills, expertise, labour, transport, land, facilities, equipment, infrastructure, and raw materials. This can reduce costs and grant you access to resources you wouldn’t ordinarily have access to.