Your Value is Not Based On Your Individual Impact

What if your value at work was based as much on how well you collaborate as it is on your individual impact?

Author and organizational psychologist Adam Grant was recently interviewed on a How I Built This podcast episode. During that conversation, Grant shared the following story about how Corning, the company behind Apple’s Gorilla Glass, chooses who will be named a Corning Fellow.

“Corning, the glass and ceramics manufacturer, uses similar metrics to decide which of its scientists and engineers will be named fellows—a high honor that guarantees a job and a lab for life. One criterion is to be the first author on a patent that generates at least $100 million in revenue. But another is whether the candidate has worked as a supporting author on colleagues’ patents. Corning grants status and power to those who strike a healthy balance between individual accomplishment and collaborative contribution.” – Source

This is an example of a massively successful brand showing us the value of collaboration. Corning, as they reward outstanding performance, considers individual impact. It would be easy to stop there, but they don’t. Instead, they intentionally add a metric focused on how well individuals work together.

There are no solo contributors. We’re all better together.

We see this every day as we’re running an agency. It is rare that any project is not touched by multiple hands, and consistently, the best projects are the ones with the highest levels of collaboration. Think about it like this. Collaboration is a sign that you’ve collected the best and brightest minds alongside the most talented technicians and creators and multiplied their impact by working together.

With that in mind, here are two questions to ask about your own business:
1. What are some examples of our team succeeding through collaboration?
2. How are we recognizing and rewarding collaboration as a business and a brand?

Like anything in life, if we say we value it, there should be evidence to back it up.

Get your team together, and have a conversation about collaboration in your own business. Ask the questions above, clarify what you believe about collaboration, and think through your strategy for recognizing it in your team’s work.

Curious about Adam Grant and his research? Check out his book Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things here

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