Collaboration is one of the biggest buzzwords being used in business today. But the truth is, collaboration has been taking place in many industries for years — it’s not new. What is new is the realisation that we don’t do it very well. Especially when it comes to the concept of collaborating with the competition to specifically disrupt old ways of doing things in order to create new markets and even new products.
Take legendary rock artist Aerosmith and rapper Run DMC. The unlikely duo collaborated in the late 1980s with incredible success for both of their unique ‘genres’ of music. So what do Aerosmith and Run DMC have to do with this? They were collaborating long before it was a buzzword.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out we need to address our $27 million dollar a year loss in productivity. I believe the cause is entrenched in two statements: “That is the way we do things!” and “She’ll be right mate!”
Today’s fast-paced market demands our attention — no one is hiding the fact that speed to market is king; but what are we speeding towards?
We know that we can make more money than ever before as many new products and ways of life are starting to emerge; in the past who would have ever said that you need an iPad? That is why right now on the cusp of 2016, collaboration in business is so critical to the future success and the sustainability of our country and planet.
The standard definition of collaboration is “the action of working with someone to produce something”. I’d prefer to change this definition to “two or more incredible people working together to produce something amazing that will impact society.” This brings me to the genius of creating an ecosystem of business leaders, government, entrepreneurs, investors and inventors because even though they all speak English they definitely do not speak the same language.
This brings me to my love of mentorship.
We need business leaders to come and teach others because there is no app for hard work, insight or wisdom. No mentorship equals the need to make mistakes in order to learn — and we just don’t have time for that. We will fail to see our ideas and visions from another perspective and we won’t see the opportunities this could create. And worst, our chance of survival in the marketplace is substantially diminished.
The opposite, however, is the reality where mentors can actually invest idea time, capital, connections, insight and wisdom. I believe the experienced guiding the less experienced is exactly what is needed to help young people in business strive toward entrepreneurial success – this will deliver a robust economy for Australia.
Today everything is rapid. With a quick Google search we can have the answer to whatever question we pose. Research can guide you, but it can’t hold your hand and it most certainly cannot answer a panicked phone call in the middle of the night.
Last year I founded Unstoppables, a company dedicated to igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Australia. We took mix of 106 entrepreneurs, investors, CEOs, start-ups and business leaders to Antarctica. We had no internet, no distractions and no worries. The business created on that boat through mentorship and collaboration was like nothing I had ever seen or experienced before — it is incredible proof of exactly what collaboration can achieve. Discover what happened and what exotic location we’re off to next.