Communication: Creating World-Changing Collaborations

As we start to look toward the future and recovery for our industry, we have a tremendous opportunity to rebuild smarter. We did it after 9/11 and again after the great recession and we will do it again after the COVID-19 pandemic. We need new thinking and new ideas to help create the new normal for our industry. To build back better we will need to create and embrace world-changing collaborations. Collaborations across all sectors of the travel industry. Across geographies and industries. Collaborations that reach outside of our own silos and seek out new ways to work together.

Big ideas, big projects, accomplishing something big historically has not been accomplished alone. Creating something BIG, something bigger than you can imagine, requires a team working together to achieve a common goal. It requires a world-changing collaboration.

I developed a 3-part framework for creating world-changing collaborations based on countless podcast interviews, conversations and research.

The 3C’s framework is a crowdsourced solution. Since 2016, I have talked with folks from all parts of the travel and tourism industry. In our conversations, they provide examples of successful collaborations and best practices for making them successful. From those conversations, I discovered there are three key parts to creating and maintaining a successful world-changing collaboration.

Communication: Creating World-Changing Collaborations

3 C’s framework: Communication, Commonality and Commitment.

This is the first in a 3-part blog series that will dive into each component of the framework. In this blog post, we will cover the first “C” – Communication.

On my podcast, Destination on the Left, I ask each guest “How do you set the groundwork for a successful collaboration?” The number one answer I get to that question is communication. There are 4 strategies that will help you master this part of the framework.

Build a plan for communication

We all intuitively know that communication is paramount to getting our ideas across, building consensus around a vision and motivating others. Yet we don’t have a plan for how we will communicate.

  • Your plan for communication starts with who you are communicating with, your audience. What organizations are you collaborating with, who is the point-person for each, and what are their roles?
  • Next establish the messages. Are there regular status updates, a shared project plan or key milestones that need to be communicated?
  • Part of your communications plan includes the format for sharing information. Is it an email, conference call, in-person meeting? Do you have a shared google doc that everyone updates regularly?
  • And establish how frequently you will communicate. Is it daily, weekly, monthly or at key milestone dates?
  • Finally, identify who owns the communication. Is there one leader for the collaboration? Or will you split up the responsibility between a few people on the team?

Set realistic expectations, establishing roles and goals upfront

As Tony Robbins has said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

Setting realistic expectations and establishing roles and goals up front will set your world-changing collaboration up for success. Be clear on the goals that you are aiming for, identify roles of each person and set expectations. This is where many collaborations stumble. Spending time upfront discussing these details will make a big difference as you set out to implement your world-changing collaboration.

Have a shared vision

As a collective you all must buy into the vision that you are trying to achieve together. Paint the picture of that world-changing idea that you are working towards. What will it look like? How will you know that you achieved it? What are the smaller achievements that you will experience along the way?

Transparency is key

Be genuine and be prepared to have courageous conversations. Bring your best self to the collective, because hidden agendas will not work here. You must be in it for the collective good and any thoughts or concerns you have regarding your role should be made openly at the beginning. To achieve your common goals and reach the world-changing vision that you have in front of you, transparency is key.

Communication – the first C in the 3C’s framework for collaboration. In the next post we will explore the second C in the 3C’s framework – Commonality.

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