Collaboration - key to success

Collaboration - key to success

There’s new ‘c’ word this season… Collaboration. From fashion to medicine, customers are realising collaboration is the way forward.

Rather like the important ‘c’s’ when looking at diamonds, collaboration has it’s own ones. Clarity, communication and commitment – these are words we’ll be using a lot in this article! They are the basis for any good working relationship between agency and client.

One quote in particular rings true with us here at Platinum HQ.

“Collaboration is a key part of the success of any organisation, executed through a clearly defined vision and mission and based on transparency and constant communication.”  Dinesh Paliwal

We couldn’t agree more.

Team collaboration is all about cultivating a teamwork-focused environment but how do you go about cultivating team collaboration?

Our approach has always been to view projects as a joint venture. Both the creative agency and the client need to be invested in each stage of the project process – no matter what area of the business it involves.  The key to this is ensuring it is the right person involved at the right time in each part of the project.  Knowing who the correct contacts are will save time and confusion for both the agency and the client.

Expectation Management

Setting expectations at the outset of any project is just as important as setting the objectives. Understanding each others needs will directly benefit both parties.  We’re not sure who said it but ‘to assume is to make an ass of u and me’.  Don’t assume you’re on the same page constantly. Everyone needs to be aware of expectations otherwise, quite frankly, it’s damaging. Managing them at the start, will avoid any future uncomfortable situations.

It’s good to talk (We’ve always liked Bob Hoskins)

Our favourite ‘c’ is communication. Where would we be without it? Candid communication is even better. It ensures an air of honesty and transparency which in turn is reassuring to both parties.

Creating a positive environment for people to share their ideas will make them more;

  • Creative
  • Effective
  • Innovative
  • Productive

And that can never be a bad thing. Each project will have different requirements but there are a variety of effective communication tools; from creating workflows to using project management tools. A workflow can be implemented and agreed in advance and each party can commit to it. Creating clearly defined roles, steps and deadlines should increase the quality of work as well as communication. They also give a team ownership of the process and can help contribute to the sense of purpose they need to drive collaboration.

We mentioned the importance earlier about candid communication. Everyone and anyone involved in a collaborative project needs to be honest and upfront.

Any sort of mistrust on either side of the client/agency relationship will immediately breed a general mistrust throughout the entire project. However, by creating an open culture with honesty at it’s core, should avoid this.

Is it better to give or receive?

Only if it’s Christmas.  Seriously though, it’s both in equal measure when it comes to an agency/client collab. ‘You get out what you put in’ as our mothers used to tell us.  Instilling that mindset can sometimes be hard depending on the personalities involved but by definition, collaboration can’t be one-sided.

Sometimes, a gesture at the start of a project can help cement a sharing mindset. Leaving a good review or even referring a new piece of potential business can create a feeling of goodwill that proves commitment to the collaboration.

So, as we said at the start, it’s all about clarity, communication and commitment. Keep them as the focus of any project and you’re on the road to success.

We’ve been lucky enough to work on some fantastic collaborative projects with a variety of clients. We’re always delighted to meet new people so if you have an idea or project that you would like to collaborate, please get in touch.