One of the things I miss most about working in a corporate environment is being accompanied by a team of professional experts in their respective areas.
Working as a freelance consultant you often collaborate with managers of small companies or entrepreneurs, experts in their area of business, but who need help, in my case, in the technological area.
I won’t deny that it gives a certain satisfaction to be listened to as the person who has THE TRUTH (in capital letters).
But I have always liked to surround myself with professionals with whom I can share knowledge and points of view.
And that is not always easy to find in small business environments.
That’s why it gives me great satisfaction when you have the opportunity to have a meeting with other professionals.
And to see that there is that good feeling in the moment when the information flows in both directions in an absolutely productive way.
This past week I had a call with a supplier.
It was about a project where special devices are required to create an IoT platform.
The thing is, I don’t consider myself to be particularly knowledgeable in the world of electronics.
To put it mildly.
In fact, I’ve always been lucky enough to have other experts take care of that part of the projects I’ve been involved in.
But this time my mission is to take the project forward and that involves both the hardware and software side of the product, as well as other aspects of the business.
So after an initial contact with the supplier and a brief exchange of emails in which I explained our needs and our doubts regarding the supplier’s product, we agreed on a first meeting.
At the agreed time we started the online meeting on time.
After a couple of minutes for a brief introduction we get straight to the point.
And I can clearly see that he has read and processed my entire email.
He goes through and explains each topic point by point.
He already has documents and images ready to visually explain the situation.
He has already found solutions to many of the questions.
And, as he explains it to you, suddenly the pieces fit together.
Assumptions are corroborated.
Most issues are resolved.
And those that are still pending become concrete actions scheduled to be resolved in the short term.
We say goodbye, setting the information to be sent to me and setting a date for the next meeting.
At the end of the call, I prepare and send a summary informing the rest of my team based on the notes I had taken.
Shortly afterwards, I receive the e-mail with the promised information and, curiously, it matches my notes point for point.
A sign that we have understood each other perfectly.
A sign that I, who am not an expert on these points, was able to understand his explanations perfectly.
All in all, a very productive meeting.
A call lasting exactly one hour that allowed the project to make significant progress.
Despite the fact that we did not meet in person. Being in different parts of the country.
With the advantage of having avoided all the time and cost that would have been required to meet face-to-face.
Information flows and it is possible to collaborate with great professionals wherever they are.
Collaborating with professionals outside your usual environment can provide new points of view, new information about where the market is going beyond what is usually experienced in the day-to-day life of a company.
This does not mean that external collaborators are better or worse. But they certainly have other points of view, other experiences and knowledge and that can always enrich any conversation or project.
Are you looking for support from professionals beyond your usual collaborators?
Do you intentionally have a plan to expand your contacts with people who can help you improve your projects?
Where and how do you find them?