My Collaborative Journey 

The journey started when I joined the Computer Industry. We were pushing the boundaries of what was possible with new technology being used in new and imaginative ways to provide critical services.

Our culture was collaborative simply on the basis that the cost of failure was unimaginable so customers and suppliers worked as a single team to make things work.

My first introduction to a formal collaborative culture was through a partnership between the company I worked for and an equivalent Japanese company of similar size.

It’s fair to say with the benefit of hindsight that our new partners were less than impressed with our initial engagement – we were ill prepared and quite simply had not done some necessary background work.

Over many months our partners demonstrated how collaboration should work and we developed a very effective strategic alliance. The learning points were the importance of initial preparation, integrity, effective communication and mutual respect.

Almost all collaborations in a commercial environment are project based – so have a finite life and should have a clearly defined exit strategy. At the end of my personal involvement with our Japanese partners I moved to a procurement role within the company.

Over time I used collaborative techniques to selectively engage with much smaller companies offering advanced processes and products in ways that yielded considerable benefits to all parties and solved some otherwise difficult procurement issues. Collaboration works for businesses of all sizes providing it is correctly implemented.

I have sucessfully promoted the benefits of collaborative working to companies of all sizes and have now developed a training course that simplifies the adoption of a structured approach to collaboration. With tighter budgets and less time available we have responded to todays business needs and now offer a cost effective distance learning course as part of our portfolio.

Collaborative Working is immensely powerful when applied correctly as the technique minimises the resources needed to achieve any desired outcome. With increasing focus on sustainability in the 21st Century we all need to learn the basic lessons of joint working and partnership to survive and thrive.

Robert Meakes