Aristotle once said that, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” While you may not be up on BC era philosophy, this is a valuable lesson for business owners and entrepreneurs alike. A team working together in harmony can accomplish much more than a bunch of individuals doing their own thing. If you run a business with employees, outside agents, or individual distributors, getting them to work together is one of the most critical functions you perform. How do you get them all working together so that the whole of your results can be greater than the sum of each individual’s effort?
Case in point, just last month I was visiting one of our amazing clients and while eavesdropping in on customer service, I overheard one of the customer service representatives chastise an Independent Sales Representative for not handling one of their client’s monthly product profile for them. The Distributor simply asked if the Agent would cancel the customers order that month. Evidently funds were tight at the moment, they and simply wanted to move it to the following month. A task that would have taken the service rep no more than one minute to perform. Instead, she held her ground, in order to “make a point” and in the end, lost the company a long-term customer and almost lost the now jaded and once devoted distributor. Sure, she’ll get over it, but because the customer service representative lost sight of who she was there to serve and what should have been one of the most important goals of everyone involve, the company is out over $2,400 a year in revenue from a once loyal customer and is now spending countless-hours trying to rebuild a relationship that had taken years to solidify.
3 Ways To Improve Team Collaboration
1. A Unified Direction
When a company has both employees and independent distributors, they may not always realize that they need to head in the same direction. The vision for both groups must be in sync and it must come from the top. Once both parties have a clear, unified vision of the goals of the company, everyone performs better.
People in teams need a common goal to work toward. A vision that everyone can clearly see and get behind. If everyone on the team is out there freelancing and doing whatever they think is best, your results will be mixed at best. Regular collaboration with the various groups in your business is essential to its success.