The popular phrases, “two heads are better than one,” “it takes a village to raise a child,” and “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’,” all stem from a common belief that when people work together, they get better results. Science reveals the superhuman benefits of collaboration aren’t just theory but backed by hard data.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducts research on the benefits of collaboration. MIT studies find sharing information diversifies communication, makes workflows more efficient, and increases the probability of success. The benefits don’t stop there.
In MIT’s Sloan Management Review, they identify market entry as the single most challenging hurdle facing small to medium enterprises today. Multinational corporations like Exxonmobil, Coca Cola, and Virgin Mobile establish notoriety and they control a firm market share in their industries. This makes it difficult for upstarts to find success. The Sloan article attributes a willingness to cooperate with one’s competitors as the deciding factor in a small startup gaining market entry in an over-saturated fields.
Small businesses aren’t the only ones collaborating to gain an edge on their competition. A study conducted by CO-Society reveals that, Coca-Cola collaborates with Heinz to make more sustainable bottles for the environment; NASA collaborates with LEGO to educate and promote science and technology fields, and AirBnB collaborates with Vayable to combine bed and breakfast accommodations with commercial tours.
Big corporations collaborating with one another results in geographically dispersed teams. It creates a necessity cross-border communication and team management tools, like Trello, Asana, and Slack.
Two Heads Are Better Than One
There is no mystery behind why collaboration can produce better results. The most celebrated leaders are heralded not for their genius but their ability to identify and take advantage of genius in others. Teams with individuals that can play to their strengths, while having collaborators support them in weaker areas, have a higher probability of accomplishing sought objectives.
Clear Company finds 90% of employees believe decision-makers should seek outside advice but 40% of those same employees think decision-makers fail to seek the insights of others. Meanwhile, the information age is giving way to data technology, machine learning, and robotic process automation. Businesses utilize neural networks to make informed decisions through a collective conscious.
This strategy of decision by consensus is also common within academia. Sites like Course Hero provide a large pool of academic research and information, created by students for students.
Students receive Course Hero free documents and collaborative support from professional writers for their research projects, when they register and contribute content of their own. Course Hero built a massive database of academic course material through the use of a peer to peer collaborative business model. On Course Hero, contributors can simultaneously be consumers and benefit from their contribution. Course Hero’s system is a prime example of how tools for team management and correspondence empower collaborators to exceed individual limitation.
How to Be More Collaborative
Brick and mortar businesses now function within a gig economy. This means, while the majority of businesses still have in-house staff with traditional 9 to 5 workflows, a substantial portion of the products and services these business rely on is provided by a community of freelance contractors or remote employees. In fact, many traditional companies find themselves competing directly with individuals collaborating with one another online as a single unit or agency.
One way freelancers find success collaborating with other gig economists is through adopting the Course Hero method. Freelancers exchange services for services or they refer clients for a commission. The final result is a professionally crafted quality product or service delivered to the consumer.
Collaboration within your business is essential for success. Collaboration enables you to benefit from the best and brightest perspectives across all channels.