Capable Construction Contractors Collaborate part 2
The first part of this two-part series aimed to supply food for thought concerning the benefits of collaborating; now, the focus will be on methods and strategies for putting collaboration to work in your construction business. Keep in mind, what follows isn’t about the typical contract between a general contractor and a subcontractor, but rather about other relationships outside that realm.
In the previous post, the short definition of collaboration was:
Shared ownership and interest in a specific outcome.
The American Management Association defines collaboration as:
A process whereby people connect and work together in an interactive, interdependent, unified, cooperative, and synergistic way to achieve a common goal.
Commonly, the reason for forming a collaborative enterprise is so the entities involved can work together to solve problems and achieve goals that would be out of reach when working alone.
When contemplating moving into a collaborative relationship, think about your current needs. How would collaboration be beneficial to your construction company? Some areas to consider are:
Combining expertise, customer reach, and technology
Dealing with uncertain, complex, or risky problems.
Generating new ideas, systems, or processes.
Improving quality, efficiency, or customer service.
Learning new insights, perspectives, or methods.
Bringing together complementary skills.
Achieving something considerably beyond your current reach.
Finding the right collaborators takes time and thought. But keep in mind that the relationship need not be a lifetime commitment. It could be as simple as getting one project done, or it might be a seasonal or regional limited engagement.
Some things to consider when seeking a collaborative relationship are:
Value alignment is crucial and cannot be set aside.
Substantial communication skills are imperative – and all expectations are clear.
There is an agreed-on level of quality.
While being organized is important, flexibility is essential.
Project success metrics (such as on time and within budget) are implicit and accepted.
There are several places where you can look for opportunities to meet with others who may be interested in collaborating. For example:
Connecting with contractors you’ve worked with before.
Joining (and getting involved in) industry organizations and groups.
Attending industry-related classes.
Going to trade shows and conferences.
Reaching out to online connections.
Asking for Collaboration
Before approaching others concerning forming a collaborative relationship, defining what you expect to achieve together is vital. And when you can explain why collaboration is important to all those participating, you’re more likely to get buy-in.
During your initial meeting, be sure that the ideas and concepts are clearly articulated, mutually understood, and collectively owned.
Building Blocks for Successful Collaboration
Using these five building blocks when initiating a collaborative project will give you a better opportunity for success.
Involve the right people
Define the purpose
Document relevant decisions
Use key points and milestones to adjust for risks and roadblocks
Celebrate victories together
Here are a few more morsels for you to consider concerning the use of collaborating.
Is a contractor muscle that must be built and strengthened through practice.
Brings outside perspectives to business dilemmas.
Involves discussion, idea clarification, and evaluation.
Helps complete projects and supports healthy growth for all participants.
Builds strong relationships and works towards a common goal.
Births novel ideas.
Brings complementary skills and knowledge to the table.
Gives opportunity for breakthroughs that may not have been possible otherwise.
Reflection: What projects or jobs would you be able to consider if you formed a collaborative relationship? Who do you know that might be a good candidate to approach?
Construction Contractors look to The Profit Constructors to provide advocacy in dealing with:
Clients and customers
Employees and subcontractors
Vendors and service providers
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735