Colleagues, Collaboration & Strategic Networking

Perhaps I am having a  “Captain Obvious” moment, however networks are critical for the success of any individual or organization. The critical factor amplifies if you are looking to collaborate to achieve your objectives.  We are often told that networking is the key to business success, however as I have written about before in my blog there are more than a few people who dislike the idea of networking. However, perhaps part of the mindset shift around networking is to consider thinking about networking as an enabler for collaboration? Business networks are often established with your current and former colleagues. So why not use those existing relationships to seek opportunities to collaborate. You can offer to collaborate to assist someone, or alternatively, seek out people in your network that may wish to experiment with a new venture, process or even just some brainstorming. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved right?  The old saying “you are only as good as your network” still rings true, but I think there is a new dimension to be added, and that’s collaboration.

I tend to my extensive network regularly by reaching out for a chat, offering help and striving to ensure that my relationships aren’t ‘a one way street.’ I have some awesome former colleagues in my network who I seek inspiration and guidance from along with regularly brainstorming how to collaborate.  One of my fabulous supporters is my former colleague and fellow entrepreneur, Sharon Melamed Managing Director of Matchboard. Matchboard was established by Sharon to simplify the way companies find new suppliers, and suppliers find new clients.

As someone who has occupied leadership roles in the areas that Matchboard specialize in, I value the sophisticated technology along with the simplicity of the Matchboard business model. The ability to create connections and establish commercial frameworks is a textbook example of collaboration!

Sharon & I collaborated recently to share my experience and views on outsourcing and offshoring. So rather than me keep on filling the page with content, I thought I’d provide a real life case study of where colleagues and collaboration meet! Enjoy the read.

After spending 23 years in sales for global outsourcing companies, Sharon Melamed followed her entrepreneurial dream and founded Matchboard (2012) and FindaConsultant (2014). Both are unique on-line businesses matching buyers and suppliers in different niches. Matchboard’s niche is “sales, service and back office”, whereas FindaConsultant helps organisations find their perfect match consultant – across more than 100 industries and 200 categories. 

Michelle is an astute businesswoman & keen entrepreneur who has achieved extraordinary results enabling people and organisations to be happy and successful. Michelle’s warm, approachable & heart-based style along with a visionary, creative and courageous approach results in women, teams & businesses achieving better products, processes and profits. Michelle’s “why” is to ensure everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or ability has a voice, is heard & participating fully & joyfully in life & work. She has a clear vision to be an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things.

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