“Collaboration Makes The Dream Work”

Rev. J. Loren Russell

Proverbs 15:22 NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

We have all heard the expression, “teamwork makes the dream work,” but have we all considered that working together requires collaboration? I didn’t say cooperation, but collaboration. To cooperate means to join, assist, a joint effort, whereas collaboration means partnership, teamwork, working together, or in concert with.

Both cooperation and collaboration bring people together for a common thing and are often used interchangeably. But cooperation usually brings people together for a single purpose that is determined by a single person or group of people. Collaboration, on the other hand is a mutual agreement made by different parties to combine their thoughts, ideas, and efforts toward the accomplishment of a goal that has been mutually determined. Instruments in an orchestra are in collaboration although they all play different parts. Every individual instrument is essential if they are to achieve the intended harmonic outcome. In collaborations, there are no big “I’s” and little “you’s.”

When the writer of Proverbs 15:22 penned those words, I believe he was giving guidance to people who look for other people who can come along beside them, not to say yes to all their ideas, but to provide a different perspective based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities. They are not seeking just one collaborator, but several, so that they can accomplish their plan or plans. Notice how the scripture indicates that the planner willingly seeks the council of others.

Collaboration is willingly surrendering yourself for the benefit of another or the group. Santi-deva, an ancient wise man said, “I will cease to live as self, and will take as my self my fellow-creatures.” He understood the essence of collaboration, for you cannot truly work in partnership with others unless and until you are willing to be selfless and abound in compassion. Anyone can fake it for a while, but without authentic collaboration, in short order, the real character will emerge.

Though cooperation can be as simple as “going along to get along,” collaboration creates a space where ideas are freely given, enthusiasm is shared, and resources are dispersed without regard to reciprocity. We must find ways to collaborate while in the planning stages if we are to make the dream work. Consider what it will take for you to move from simply cooperating to collaborating.

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company and The J. Loren R Consulting, LLC for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting, an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook LIVE and author of Matters of Faith: The Book (eBook available at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177)

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