The Editor's Overview Logo

Coordination vs. Cooperation vs. Collaboration; What Does Your Organization Do?

Although the three terms may be defined very similarly, unless you're emphasizing collaboration you're not getting your best possible outcome.

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

In this month's column I decided to cover a somewhat subtle concept, exploring the need to move beyond 'coordination' – and even 'cooperation' – in your business. That's because the best of all outcomes will typically occur only with an end result based upon 'collaboration.'

First, some definitions: In a project sense, the term 'coordination' is where you need more than one person involved to gain a mutually desirable objective. Everyone needs to understand who needs to do what, and by when. Although 'cooperation' includes these, too, it also adds in the concept of mutual trust and respect, as well as the acknowledgment that there will be a mutual benefit gained by working together.

Collaboration, although inclusive of the other concepts, also adds in several values that are very positive ones to have in business or any organization trying to become the best of its kind possible. A collaborative effort is much more of a dynamic process, one that additionally fosters open communication, and the recognition of the value of involving people with complementary, diverse skills and knowledge. These are often coupled with a sense of urgency and commitment, also good items to have plenty of on your Team.

I suggest seriously considering the meanings of these three similar words and then determining which will actually be most likely to get you the end result you desire with any task requiring more than one person's involvement. From my perspective, any time you have even mid-range issues you need to address, fostering a collaborative effort by your Team is the way to go.

In this issue you will find several stories designed to help you develop better ways of running your organization. 'Maximizing Your Company's Value to Customers' is one of those, and whether you are a contractor or a public works director you'll want to review the ways to best keep your customers happy.

I also wrote another article that's appearing for the first time in this newsletter. 'Diversification: Developing Multiple Baskets for Your Eggs,' challenges you to recognize ways you might expand not just your organization's products/services, but also your business approach and partnerships.

Since I'm starting to get so many calls about how companies can get found on the Internet, I put that down in print this month, as well, in an article entitled 'Basic Website Site Finding and Search Engine Optimization Techniques.' Don't be scared off because you think the contents will be beyond your capability. Anyone with a website can follow the steps I outline for promoting their site. Or, if you'd like, hire us to do the job for you.

Finally, the other story in this month's 'collaboration series,' is on the topic of choosing a credit card provider. Most everyone has such a provider; does your offer all the basic features it should? This article will help you to find out.

Lest you think we're getting away from being 'sweeper-specific' in our articles, we also have two of those for you. One takes you halfway around the world to the United Arab Emirates city of Abu Dhabi.'s intrepid reporter, Phileas Fogg, offers a glimpse into how sweeping is done so well in that land of scorching temperatures, high wind and extreme dust.

Finally, or perhaps we should say 'last but not least,' is our feature article on Contractor of the Month for June, Pat McDonough, and his Seattle area-based sweeping company. McDonough has customers who have been with him for over 20 years, and his two sons have both spun off impressive industry-related businesses of their own. You'll learn plenty as McDonough discusses how he's gone down that road.

My hope is that each of you find they all help in one way or the other. If you have ideas about articles you'd like to see in the future, please let us know that, as well. Our goal is to write about what you want to read. And, if you have a sweeping-related need please contact us about it. We'll try to assist in any way we can.

I routinely reference articles and studies, provide information from my "Fundamentals of the Power Sweeping Business" manual and put contractors and city officials in touch with others who may have answers to their informational needs. By the same token, if you have a story you can provide, additional information on any of the topics we've covered – or need more details – please let me know. I'll be glad to help if at all possible.

By the way, if you don't have a listing yet in our Contractor Locator section, you are missing out on what is arguably the best advertising value in sweeping. At the same time, you'll be helping to keep online and active.

Good Sweeping!
Ranger's Signature
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

PS A big "Thank You" to first-time advertiser, One.7 Inc.! Slogan
World Sweeper Logo

© 2010 World Sweeper
All rights reserved.

Newsletter Contents

Site Map / Table of Contents