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January 21, 2013

101: Collaborating

“Putting our heads together,” “partnering,” “teaming up” — there are many ways to say “working together,” but how can we ensure these arrangements run smoothly and are profitable for all concerned? Here are three ways to get the most value out of a work or project collaboration:

Reach for those outside your comfort zone. The first instinct may be to partner with another person who is just like you. But actually, thinking bigger — in terms of what that person can teach you — is likely a better route, says Karen Graves of Vision Launch in an article at “Staying in a place of comfort will keep you where you are,” she says. “Working alongside someone who pushes you (in all the right ways) can bring growth.”

Use available tech tools. Whether you check out Dropbox, Skype or Google Docs, research ways to streamline efforts over the web. For instance, Logan Lenz, of Endagon, says in an article at that Teambox is his new project management system. “The platform really allows everyone to piggyback on other ideas in order to come with something truly collaborative,” he said.

Find partners in complementary — not cookie-cutter — industries to yours. An article at gives examples of this, such as an architect and construction contractor; a public relations firm and an ad agency; a computer hardware distributor with a software consultant.

“Try to work together on a small project or two first,” the article advises, to ensure a good working relationship, before taking on larger projects.


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