Business Partners

Let’s face it, no one individual, group, or department has all the necessary talent, skills, resources, or time to innovate and succeed on their own in the long run. So look around you: No matter what kind of business you run, effective collaboration is often the only realistic way to get the job done. That means the people around you are essentially your business partners.

Part of your job then is to help support these business relationships and enhance collaboration overall. Try the following as part of your task:

• Include all appropriate groups in the planning and decision-making process.

• Develop a sense of ownership and buy-in among all participants.

• Identify measurable long- and short-term goals.

• Do what you can to ensure the availability of tools, technology, and resources necessary to facilitate success all along the way.

• Be open to a variety of leadership possibilities that include shared, rotated, formal, and informal levels of responsibility and authority.

• Value, respect, and include a diversity of people around the table. Beyond the obvious, recognize that differences create movement and progress in the status quo.

• Be open to involving others as the work moves forward in new directions.

• Capture and measure milestones of progress along the way; provide feedback and course corrections as needed.

• Pay attention to group dynamics and develop ongoing mechanisms for maintaining positive working relationships.

• Deal with obstacles as you bump into them.

• Clearly identify and define roles and responsibilities.

• Recognize, take pride in, and celebrate successes together.

• Have fun.

Mallary Tytel President and Founder Healthy Workplaces Sioux Falls, S.D.

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