Posted on 12/15/2014

By Melissa Sitton, Senior Vice President of Strategy

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

Is “collaboration” just a buzzword?  In general, I’m not a fan of buzzwords. Typically they become overused and eventually lose their meaning.  However, every once in a while there is a buzzword that’s relevant and meaningful, and that we should be using and focusing on. One of those words is “collaboration,” and I believe it’s becoming more important than ever. 

Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. While it sounds simple, I think we all can relate to how surprisingly challenging and productive collaboration really is.

When I think of my experiences where an initiative was really successful, the common factor was the performance of the team of people in executing against the goal. In my experiences, the team’s effectiveness was consistently related to how in sync they were as a group and to the strength of their communication. If I evaluate the most successful team collaborations, they have been relatively small – sometimes just 3 to 5 people – and they usually worked together in the same location and were part of the same organization. 

Where I’ve seen challenges with collaboration and team effectiveness has been with larger teams - teams who are geographically dispersed, and when we have team members from various organizations. And unfortunately, in today’s world, we’re seeing more and more of this size and scale of collaboration – to the point where it has become predominant.

In this upcoming series, I will be sharing my experiences of developing successful collaboration in Real Estate, Design/Construction, and Facilities teams, which are often larger, include people from various organizations and are often geographically distributed.  I will also highlight the benefits that great collaboration drives into our business. Areas of focus will include:

  • Breaking the internal silos – driving improved collaboration across all teams involved in procuring, building, and maintaining real estate
  • Creating win-win (yes, another buzzword) vendor partnerships – driving improved collaboration with vendors and partners
  • Furthering franchisee success – driving improved collaboration between franchisors and franchisees
  • Launching new markets – driving improved collaboration when growing into new geographies or segments

Look for more articles in this monthly blog series.

About Melissa Sitton

As Senior Vice President of Strategy, Melissa Sitton is responsible for leading Accruent’s corporate strategy and driving initiatives to generate growth. She is also responsible for Accruent's acquisition strategy. Since joining Accruent in 2005, Melissa has played an integral role in serving Accruent’s customers through client management, solution design and delivery, and has acted as a customer advocate within the organization. Melissa has held leadership roles in product management, marketing, professional services, customer support, and acquisitions. Melissa’s background includes strategy and transformation consulting and real estate and supply chain software and consulting. Prior to joining Accruent, Melissa held positions with Ariba, Lucernex, and Ernst & Young/Cap Gemini. Melissa received a Bachelor of Communications from Ouachita Baptist University.