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Collaberation is key to success

Companies that adopt a collaborative approach to business can transform their firm in positive yet unexpected ways, according to William Buist.

Mr Buist, chief executive of business consultancy firm Abelard and founder of xTEN Club programme, outlined the top five benefits of collaboration.

The first is in regards to employee alignment.

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Mr Buist said: “When people share and explain their ideas in a contextually consistent environment that is commonly understood, the feedback improves the quality of their thoughts rather than highlighting misunderstandings and the need for further explanation. This type of feedback also helps to improve self-awareness as employees realise their strengths and weaknesses and how they measure against the rest of the group.”

Secondly, collaboration enables each member of a team to perform their role to their strengths, according to Mr Buist, adding that employees who know their strengths and weaknesses are better at asking for help and offering it.

It also helps to build trust among workers and teaches them to rely on each other, allowing them to function more as a cohesive unit which ultimately helps to drive progress and advancement within an organisation, he said.

Stimulating fresh thinking is another benefit of collaboration. It brings together different types of specialists and departments and allows new ideas to thrive throughout the firm which can open up new ways of achieving organisational goals.

The fourth benefit is greater innovation.

Mr Buist said: “Creating a culture that encourages innovation necessitates one that also encourages collaboration.

“A company that develops the latest ideas is not afraid to allow people to experiment, even if that experiment does not succeed. This helps employees feel free to explore new ideas rather than feeling restricted by the threat of failure. This is the type of environment that encourages innovation and fresh thinking.”

Finally, business collaboration can help to re-energise employees, resulting in a better, more efficient working environment.

Mr Buist said: “Collaboration has far reaching benefits for companies, producing organisations that are filled with employees who are self-aware, aligned, role-focused, able to stimulate fresh thinking and encourage innovation, and are re-energised, lifting the company to new heights.

“Business leaders who have ever doubted the potential benefits they could receive from encouraging collaboration should put to rest any fears and find ways to implement this strategy now.”

Adviser view

Stephen Jones, managing director at Derbyshire-based Clear Solutions Wealth & Tax Management, said: “For us, it is phenomenally important for all of us working in the office to work collaboratively. Here, everyone has their own area of specialism in order to provide specific and well-informed solutions to our clients.

He added: “It is all very well and good to have a number of extremely capable employees, but it would be even more beneficial if these individuals work together rather than independently. It helps to make sure that every member of the team is pulling his weight and contributing meaningfully to tasks, and to provide the service that our clients expect and deserve.”