Andrew Dietz is Founder and President of Creative Growth Group, Inc., a business development firm that exclusively helps professional service organizations sharpen growth strategies, enhance client development capabilities, and implement marketing and business development initiatives.

If you have the wrong people on your team, collaboration can fall flat.  To hire the right people, firms need to consciously interview a candidate with collaboration and collegiality in mind.  Ask yourself and your colleagues, “Is this candidate somebody that’s going to be collaborative?”  One competence that makes a professional more valuable to a collaborative effort is the ability to synthesize information.  Sarah Miller Caldicott said, “Part of how Edison created competitive advantage is that he and his people were very good at watching for patterns in the data, synthesizing it and creating new ideas from those observations. Some of that comes through the sharing of ideas and conversations about them.”  Combine “big data” with social business technologies and our firms will increasingly be overwhelmed with information – it will take exceptional pattern recognition, synthesis and collaborative communication skills to convert this data flow into productive action. 

This post is part of a series recapping the event, Creating Collaborative Advantage: How To Get Fiercely Independent Professionals To Collaborate For The Benefit Of Each Other, Their Firm and Their Clients hosted by SilverEdge, along with its partners Deltek and Creative Growth Group. Stay tuned for more advice from the event.