If you find your business teams aren’t communicating, let alone collaborating, try focusing on their common denominators. Common denominators are those common themes which run across everyone’s professional disciplines. Identifying common denominators ensures that everyone seated around your business table comprehends the terminology, principles and goals of not only your team, but your customer’s team as well.
Let’s not confuse common denominators with root causes. Common denominators drive collaboration and communication. Discussion surrounding root causes tends to degenerate into a retrospective blame- game if your corporate culture is structured to maintain an “Us versus Them” atmosphere, with everyone working in discipline-driven silos. That’s the subject of another post.
Identifying common denominators for your business teams provides opportunities for collaboration, innovation and revenue generation. Revenue generation perhaps is the over-arching common denominator for your, and everyone’s, company. Have you ever considered how utilizing common denominators in teamwork, throughput, and collaboration can enhance your ROI?
Developing business teams who collaborate via common denominators can be a powerful process. Potential and current customers begin to view the breadth and depth of your organization’s core competencies when your team is pulling together, rather than fighting with each other. Adapting your corporate culture to this strategy, adopting this process, and applying it to specific types of projects can be a differentiator from your competition.
Initially this type of common denominator business development strategy self-selects for technical and non-technical professionals who are open to interacting productively with each other. These folks appear to be “naturals” at working collaboratively – with each other and with customers – towards achieving common cross-functional goals.
When everyone gets to the finish line, together, common denominators for your business team impact your business development cycle, design cycle, quality output and outcomes, sales cycle, time to order and time to cash, among other variables. If your company has high turnover, employee retention can be positively impacted as well. Each of these variables contributes to your bottom line and ROI in adapting this strategy into your business development initiatives.
If you are a small to mid-sized business thinking about retooling (perhaps literally) and recalibrating, consider implementing common denominators as a strategy for a specific project. This strategy keeps everyone close to the customer, and integrated with each other’s throughput, which is the way it should be.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups.