Elaine Fogel

Canada & US IndependenceOn July 1st, Canada turns 146, and on July 4th, America marks its 237th year of independence. As we celebrate the independence of these two great nations, it made me think of the ways in which we work today.

Whether you work for a small business or a nonprofit organization, what does independence look like in your workplace? Does your organization work independently from others? What about its departments or areas of responsibility? Do people collaborate and share information?

The Collins English dictionary defines interdependence as “dependence between two or more people, groups, or things.” Now, that’s more realistic, isn’t it? When we collaborate and work for a common objective, we can accomplish so much more.

Earlier this year, Cisco conducted an internal study called the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, in which it uncovered that “employees value collaboration. Working together and having multifaceted perspectives trumps working alone and often leads to idea propagation.” The company said its recommendations will work for any organization that wants to derive greater business value by improving collaboration.

In a post-PC world, collaboration is more critical than ever. It means getting the right information to the right people at the right time to make the right decision. In turn, these well-informed and quicker decisions help organizations get work done, fostering productivity, innovation, and growth.”

The nonprofit sector has embraced interdependence in the past few years, partly out of necessity during the Great Recession, and partly because they’ve seen how successful it can be. When organizations collaborate, they can surely make more of a difference to their mutual causes.

I’ve also seen an increase in smaller businesses working interdependently, even with competitors. If Company A provides a service that Company B does not, and vice versa, it can be of mutual benefit when they collaborate, rounding out their business offerings so they don’t have to turn their own customers away. It’s a win-win for both sides.

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with marketing. It’s quite simple. When employees collaborate and work interdependently, they are more satisfied and engaged.

And, when they are more engaged internally, they will be better brand ambassadors externally. Providing exceptional customer service to your customers, clients, donors, volunteers, members, etc., is what helps your brand stand out and bring people back.

So, Happy Interdependence Day! And, to my Canadian readers, Happy Canada Day! To my American readers and friends, Happy 4th of July!

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