■ The ability to contract services across continents, by virtue of anytime-anywhere technology-linked communication tools;
■ The reality that outsourcing allows small business entrepreneurs to lower overhead costs of onsite personnel salaries and benefit packages;
■ The trend to empower collaborative decision-making, rather than adhere to top down, hierarchical authority; and
■ The multi-generational talent pool.
So, when a team or partnership includes – onsite and offsite workers, Boomer executives and digital-native Millennial colleagues and a diverse range of experts from vastly different cultures – how can entrepreneurs leverage differing perspectives for successful outcomes?
The following four actions help set the stage for cohesive, fulfilling partner relationships.
First and foremost, agree upon desired outcomes.
When teams take the time to brainstorm, collaborate and come to agreement on the overall goal of the team and specific project outcomes, differences melt away. Instead the process brings into focus shared passions and aligned objectives. When people agree about what inspires them to work together, partnerships strengthen through increased commitment.
Next, outline specific roles and responsibilities for each person.
Decreasing assumed responsibilities eliminates frustration and team dysfunction. The simplest way to counteract unmet expectations, is to clearly outline roles and responsibilities from the get-go. Individual and collective satisfaction increases when each team member contributes his or her skills and talents to projects.
Embrace multiple tools for frequent communication to share progress and problem-solve obstacles.
Enhance team communication through regularly scheduled conference calls and teleconferencing. In between, embrace texting, social media, shared desk-top platforms and cloud-based file sharing services for improved collaboration and collective decision-making.
Value each member by recognizing and acting on his or her contributions.
Team work components include motivation, a sense of purpose, cohesiveness to a group and results-oriented across functional teams. And, according to work place researchers, productivity directly relates to a sense of value. In the book “The Management Bible,” researchers Espinoza, Ekleja and Rusch point out that teams are most highly motivated when leadership offers:
- Praise of all types — personal, electronic, written, public, etc.
- Support and involvement
- Learning and development opportunities
- Manager time and availability
Success in the global economy pivots on a collaborative mindset. What is your experience with business teams and partnerships? How have you overcome personality differences? What suggestions do have for entrepreneurs to facilitate partnership success? Let us know in the comment section below or start a conversation on the topic in our Facebook community.