By Doug Fabbioli
Over the years, I have recognized that working with others has numerous benefits. For best results, it is important to make sure you are working with others that understand how to cooperate and collaborate as well as manage your expectations of the results. If you are volunteering on a benevolent effort, like a soup kitchen or a church project, it is assumed that the volunteers are there to help others and can take direction to achieve the goal. But in business, collaborating with others can get confusing for some. Everyone should benefit in a collaborative effort, but nothing says that the benefits will be equal.
A good business collaborator will gather together other progressive business owners to work on a larger project that can benefit all. Usually it is a marketing effort and sometimes it is a political effort to protect the local lands or a business practice. Whatever the reason, to gather these business people together, they need to look at each other’s needs and goals. By being a bit more of a giver than a taker, so much more can be accomplished. This translates into politicians on all levels as well, but I am not going to dive into that realm! The big thing is that there is no hidden agenda. The authenticity of the players shines through with each move as long as one is looking.
I have been working with our county’s rural economic development team for over 12 years now. There are many different business sectors as well as conservation agencies and government agencies. We all agree that keeping the land open and conducive to farming will benefit all. There are lots of issues that go along with this fundamental premise but as each of us in the group see the bigger picture, our businesses and organizations gain from the group’s efforts.
Our winery has Temple Hall Farm Park next to us on our country road. We are working with them to develop a plan to help us both. The park wants more people to be aware of them and what they offer in the fall. We at the winery are looking to help our customers with young children to get the most from their visit with us without sacrificing the focus on our wines. Stay tuned for how our efforts turn out.
I also believe that good collaborators share their successes and challenges with others in order to make good models for other folks. Each effort that we have should have some lessons for others to gain from in order for them to solve their challenges.
Solid collaboration takes vision to see other people’s needs. You need to be a “giver” of time and energy recognizing that this sets a leadership example. It also takes patience as getting everyone on the same page will take some time. Remember that all boats lift in a rising tide, and in many parts of the world, we have some ability to adjust the tides. We just need to learn how to work together.