Collaboration. Additional Horsepower to Our Finance Engines

Collaboration. I have always liked the word. More today, than ever before.

It’s definition, “…working with individuals or groups to produce or create something.” sets the tone for what our businesses need today; creativity, innovation and productivity.

Have you ever struggled to unsuccessfully solve a vexing problem alone but a solution appears within 15 minutes of discussing it with a colleague. That is the power of collaboration.

This happened to me in mid-March. I was struggling to determine how we could help our Member Scholars address key issues they would be facing due to the Covid 19 pandemic. While wrestling with these issues for a couple of days, I joined a video call with a group of trusted advisors I work with. I mentioned my concerns to the group and one of my colleagues quickly asked why I wasn’t simply using my experience as a CFO, the CFO.University platform we had built and my love for teaching to help finance chiefs lead their teams and businesses out of the crisis many were facing.

Of course, when framed in such straightforward manner the answers came easy to me. We quickly added a CFO Crisis Resource Center to the home page of our professional development platform. It is designed to help finance leaders navigate the choppy waters we are entering. We then used our network to help folks find these resources. We also took action that allowed our constituents access to our professional development membership at no cost, giving free access to courses and preferred pricing on tools. From the numerous and positive responses we have had, both actions were welcome and have been embraced by our community. Collaboration works.

The word “collaborate” itself includes many words that will help us create positive momentum. Highlight these words and it’s easy to see why “collaborate” holds so much power when it comes to enabling our future success.

  • Work = Collaborate
  • Team = Collaborate
  • Innovate = Collaborate
  • Communicate = Collaborate
  • Togetherness = Collaborate

Putting this powerful word into action has the potential to help businesses climb out of the Covid 19 crisis and grow beyond it. Collaboration will add horsepower to your efforts. It will introduce you to new teams, new ideas, new business models and new opportunities.

So, how can we make it a more meaningful part of our daily activities?

Here is a list of steps to take to grow your collaborative network:

  1. Develop a one sentence explanation of why you exist.
  2. Create a list of value added items you possess that can be offered to your potential collaborators.
    1. As a true collaborator you must be prepared to give first and receive second.
    2. As a diligent collaborator you must be capable of identifying sincere collaborative partners.
  3. Identify parties that you believe are aligned with why you exist – current and potential collaborators – and consider what they possess that can add value in exchange for your offer.
  4. Review your list (2 above) for new value you can offer your current collaborators and consider what they can offer you in exchange.
  5. For new collaborative partners, distinguish what you can give them (2 above) and what you would expect to receive in exchange.
  6. Contact potential collaborators to confirm your whys align and, importantly, be diligent with potential new partners.
  7. You can be bold with your current collaborative partners but start small and simple for some quick wins with new partners.

Collaborate and grow.

3 actions you can take to build growth through collaboration

1. Use the 7 step road map above to systematically grow you collaborative network and business model.

  • Focus on the 3 or 4 collaborators your gut tells you have the most potential.
  • Practice your collaborative pitch for each party; Why this makes sense. What you are prepared to give and How both parties will benefit.
  • Schedule the call or meeting with your intentions clear
  • Get at it!

2. I imagine there are many individuals and companies in our community that have great potential to effectively collaborate with CFO.University. I would be proud to be your beta test if you choose to use this collaborative process.

Here is our Why: “CFO.University exists to develop world changing finance leaders.”

www.CFO.University

If we look like a good fit, schedule a call with me. Include your one sentence why and your website address in the sharing box on the scheduler. We are anxious to explore collaborative opportunities with those of you who see the potential.

3. We will also be compiling of list of those from our community interested in exploring collaborative opportunities among one another. If you want to be included on this list send your one sentence why your business exists and your website address to me at Steve.Rosvold@CFO.University. We’ll recap the responses, and send them out with names and email addresses to those who respond. From there you will have the choice to follow up with those who best fit your collaboration model.

I didn’t mention this earlier as an advantage of collaboration, but it certainly holds true. It is fun.

Team, Innovate, Communicate and Work Together while having a great time Collaborating!


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