We count collaboration as one of our key elements to success at our company. Why? We are believers in the old saying, “two heads are, in fact, better than one”. But does this contradict another classic adage -- “too many cooks in the kitchen”? Our ideology is strongly rooted in team work and a collective-effort style of problem solving.
The challenge isn't actually that there are too many cooks, but rather that each cook’s got their own recipe (read: agenda)! What if all the great and varied minds could work cooperatively? We say the more the merrier! People working together in way that highlights differences in opinion and perspective without allowing these differences to detract from successful problem solving can be awesome!
Take a great example of the power of collaboration in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon tragedy. It seems as though immediately after news of the bombings broke, the phrase Boston Strong was born. These two words were on the lips of news announcers, politicians, professional athletes, and celebrities across the country. The widespread use of Boston Strong is a type of collaboration in and of itself. People from all walks of life began sharing the phrase which gave the words strength. Strength that would, eventually, be transmitted to the city and its residents.
Boston Strong picked up such momentum that it quickly grew from a phrase, to a mindset, to a source of hope for all those affected by the horrific events of April 15th. Building on the foundation laid by these words, t-shirts have been, and continue to be sold that illustrate the powerful words in various themes. All the local sports team now have Boston Strong versions incorporating their logos and colors. What’s more, is that 100% of the proceeds from the shirt sales benefit the One Fund Boston, set up by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to aid those most affected by the bombings.
Collaboration has been a crucial component in all of these operations. In order to create the fund, the Mayor and Governor worked together to plan and implement the best way to raise money for the cause. Add to that, the collaborative efforts of all those involved in making and selling the shirts. Manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and designers have all worked together in order to make such a wide-spread campaign a success. When tragedy strikes, most ask themselves: “What can I do to help?” Possibly more important though, is the question that should follow; “Who can help me do my part?”
Boston native and Hollywood celebrity Donnie Wahlberg says his initial reaction upon hearing the news was asking himself the latter of these two important questions. He then took immediate action, finding his answer in a benefit concert titled nothing other than Boston Strong. His initiative made the latter question mentioned above easier for others to answer. The concert presented an opportunity for all types of artists to do their part in the relief effort for the victims. Wahlberg’s idea was just the beginning of what would soon turn into an amazing showing of support for the city, and of course exemplary uses of collaboration. While Wahlberg’s claim to fame was a leading member of a teeny-boppers pop group, the myriad of artists set to perform on the Boston Strong stage encompasses all genres and represents a variety of generations. The result? A five hour concert that has so far raised approximately $1.5 million.
Collaboration was contagious when it came to Boston Strong. Everyone, no matter how big their ego (well, with the exception of Dane Cook) was working together toward a common goal – supporting the victims.
Very often, our most valuable resources are the colleagues we work with everyday. Although most of us tend to get wrapped up in our own projects, take a step back once in a while and look at the greater good. Perhaps you will discover insights and even bigger solutions!