Last month, I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Washington Business Improvement District 2012 Business Recognition Dinner.

The topic was Business Teamwork and Collaboration — Thought I would share with you four key points of my presentation.

The key to business success is collaboration — It is not to fight for a larger piece of the pie – It is to work collaboratively to make the pie bigger. Successful business communities work together to increase the size of the market, instead taking market share from each other. The only sustainable strategy is to grow the entire market, not just your share of it.

Four points: Goal – Roles – Practice – Action

Goals: Positive movement to economic success and sustainability starts by identifying the goal. Determine what market you wish to grow. Identify who will be part of the change.

Roles: Once you know who is on the team, determine what each business will do contribute to the successful achievement of the goal.

Practice: Success does not come without practice. Test your plan. Test it again. Modify the plan and reassign roles if needed. Design the perfect plan. As Vince Lombardi said: “Practice does not make perfect – Perfect practice makes perfect.”

Action: In our office we have a five-foot cutout of a Dilbert character that reminds us: “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” Once your plan is in place (and agreed upon) and each business knows its role, then it is time to act. Go for it – and stay at until your team reaches its goal.

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