Collaboration 1+1=3

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Information about Collaboration 1+1=3

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: LisaKuhnPhillips



A blog regarding Company Collaboration and an organization in sync.

Collaboration: 1 + 1 = 3 Yes, that’s the definition in mathematical terms, which may explain why it’s hard for the financial industry to grasp. In the Accounting and Finance areas, it certainly wouldn’t be accepted, the numbers are black and white. Yet this equation is numbers plus, and needed for business collaboration and successful change. Collaboration is co-creating a better solution through people, concepts and newer, effective actions. Notice I didn’t say cooperation.  Collaboration focuses on new ideas and letting go of control. The better solution is the gain for everyone. It starts with discomfort zone and ends with group creation.  Cooperation focuses on compromise, preservation and incremental change. It starts with comfort zone and ends with discomfort, based on what was sacrificed. Cooperation is 1 + 1 = 2 because its known and understood by all. Collaboration and the ability to develop new thoughts, better perspective and action is smart and hard work. In the new knowledge economy, this approach separates the industry leaders from the followers and eventual “fade aways”. The financial world today needs the X factor, the extra (exclamation) point that business is social. Collaboration is value plus and the result of a social purpose (financial wellness), agility to make it happen, and sustainable financial performance for those served. Who are you? What describes your culture and operating strategy? Fit and active? Sluggish and out of balance? Do the math and show the work with these 3 must haves for a future focused, present day culture of collaborative change. 1. Connectivity. Where it begins. It’s easier to connect processes, programs and numbers. People, not so much. Direct correlation here in the human 2 human space. Engagement and relationship building correlates to financial return. Build a process of quality time and investment in talent internally, as well as the member owners. Who better to ask and grow than the team who creates or receives the experience? Connectivity creates transparency and better clarity, inside out and outside in. Break down those walls and silo’s. 2. Simplicity Remove walls and simplify the structures that obstruct or confuse. Speak and listen in one common language to start. For executives, work on basic math - prior to algebra and before calculus – for willing

students and partners for success. For operations, design with the end user in mind. For the marketers, connect with both content and context. For the team, determine what can be handled by technology and vendor/partners, so strategic action is guided effectively. The other outcome? A Credit Union who can focus forward and invest time in new project development. Careful though, simplicity also means prioritizing – resources and projects – for need and impact. Less is more. Spend quality time before the rush to add quantity. 3. Agility Connectivity and Simplicity leads to agility. It’s the fluid movement of a holistic system in operation. People, processes, partners, performance in motion plus emotion (belief). This time with clarity of purpose and performance. Disparate system syndrome minimized. Collaborative work disruptions are now the new comfort (let’s solve the next story problem in math class). Just like math, every year builds on the one before (except trigonometry, IMO). Now visualize the flow from agility back to connectivity and simplicity. Do this workflow iteratively. Continually prepare better design, practice and test develop, then provide “pop” quizzes for real commitment – for and from your team, vendor/partners, shareholders and community. Financial results are stronger and wiser with cultural support, smart and simple solutions and an agile operating approach. Create this habit. Collaborative change is the new constant. 1 + 1 does equal the power of 3. by Lisa Kuhn Phillips Lisa’s Bio: Lisa is a 25 year financial service intrepreneur, progressive organizational strategist and aligned culture catalyst. She is also president/founder of inavision, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in Social Business Strategy and Transformation, by designing culture and agile operations for performance results. Some of the services Lisa provides include business model strategy, organizational transformation and executive leadership guidance in the Social Era. Her website is You can also contact her at 260-437-0859 or

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