How to Bring Collaboration to Success


About this time last year, I was going over an advertisement regarding international marketing. Although we were not selected because we were an overseas North American company, we were fortunate to have the chance to work together at the last minute. A subcontractor, whom I connected with in Korea, was selected by a marketing business and proposed collaboration, so we oversaw the international social media marketing sector and they focused on the SEO (Search Engine Optimization). After four months of steady work in each corresponding sector, we saw that there was approximately 10,000% more exposure than we expected, which is why I clearly remembered that project once it was completed. That project was the Jeju Island International Marketing Project for the Jeju Tourism Organization.

Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success."

Collaboration generally means working together. Rather than simply doing things together, it is a way to highlight the strengths of each person to the fullest extent in various areas. Recently, new startups have joined forces with companies in similar situations in order to survive. Also, I often see well-known companies working with partners in different fields in order to think outside of the box, deliver a fresh impression to consumers, and draw more attention to their products and services. A good example of this is when a cosmetics company works together with a famous person to release a limited edition item or line.


However, if we simply work together on something, will it always yield good results? I receive quite a few proposals for collaborations as I run my business. Of course, how great would it be if two ordinary companies combined to create extraordinary results and grow together through teamwork? However, whenever I receive a proposal of cooperation, I first emphasize trust. You must first get to know each other, see that you know each another, and have confidence in each other. If conviction turns to trust, and you go forward together with a clear goal, there will be a result of synergy.  That said, I understand quite well that going forward simply because your opinions are the same is merely a cooperation and ultimately meaningless.

A few weeks ago, I went to a gathering where companies came together to work with each other, and I said: “Collaboration is a double-edged sword. If the advantage of each side is unclear, rather than carrying the shortcomings together in a shared burden, since you are depending on each other, you will be anticipating growth together, but you may also die together.” Just because you join forces does not mean you get stronger. I warned them that sometimes, there may be an adverse effect on each other. If you want to collaborate, you must ensure that you have first properly prepared yourselves, and only in this way will you be able to fill each other’s shortcomings. You must give trust priority and work to have each other’s strengths shine in order to have a proper collaboration.

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

The first thing in a successfully lead collaboration is proper communication. It is very important to set a shared goal through sharing each other’s goals and continual dialog.


When there is the clear conviction of a shared goal, a mutual trust, and an understanding that takes priority in a collaboration, then there will be a generation of great synergy. In a relationship of mutual deep trust as a priority, rather than a mere collaboration of several people gathered together, the results of a collaboration will naturally follow.