Collaboration is a key to success

Published 10:29 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

By Chris Quilpa

What does it take to achieve peace, unity and harmony in our community or in our world? What does the human race and the world need, beside love, respect, peace and understanding?

For law enforcement, crime investigation and prevention, and fighting terrorism to be effective and successful, peace, law and order to be established, maintained, secured, and/or restored, what is badly needed by all concerned peace keepers and world leaders?

Email newsletter signup

To treat patients or find a cure or medicine for an outbreak or a devastating illness or disease, endemic or pandemic, what is important for health care givers and professionals and scientists?

In a joint effort to create, construct, build, make or manufacture, produce or publish something, such as a new toy or an electronic device or gadget, a house or a skyscraper, a car or an airplane, a book, a magazine or a newspaper, what do two or more creative people, talented personnel or employees, or group/team members, and innovative business leaders do?

To solve a pressing problems besetting our society, like poverty, homelessness, inequality, climate change, opioid crisis or epidemic, traffic congestion, what do government officials, community leaders and residents do?

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” That’s a quote from Hellen Keller, the American author, political activist and lecturer who became the first deaf and blind woman to graduate college in the United States.

Ken Blanchard, the best-selling author of “The One Minute Manager” that was translated into many languages, wrote, “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Another American industrialist and business magnate and founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford, once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

What do the above questions and selected quotes by famous Americans have in common? Teamwork and collaboration!

Collaboration is simply a joint effort, partnership or venture between two or among people, group members and leaders, allied organizations or countries that have one common goal or purpose.

What comes to mind when you hear the word collaboration? Success (not failure), unity (not division), profit (not bankruptcy, as in business), happiness (in relationships, like love and marriage), and discovery (in science exploration and medicine).

Evident in all aspects of life, collaboration is employed in business, trade and industry; science and technology; arts and music, sports and entertainment; media and politics; government, religion and education; health care management and administration, and relationships.

In the field of foreign affairs/relations and diplomacy, collaboration is practiced and observed, with the aim towards world peace and security.

Synonymous with cooperation, partnership and teamwork, collaboration, especially in the field of education, involves working together, doing something towards a positive result, teaching together by sharing thoughts and ideas, plans and practices, goals and objectives, mission and vision, decisions and dreams together for the future success of all students.

In school or academia, collaboration is so important for students, teachers and administrators, and school success, and advancement of thoughts, research and development. It provides every teacher/educator or team member with equal opportunities to participate and communicate their creative ideas, share their thoughts for better, positive results that ultimately benefit their students.

Heard about collaborative teaching or team teaching? Two (or more) teachers or faculty members share their love of teaching (approaches, practices and strategies) to effect positive change and contribute excellence and success in students.

In collaboration, though, there is trust, respect, willingness, empowerment and effective communication. There is also creativity and diversity. Despite a confluence of thoughts and ideas from participating members, there’s consensus in the end.

Collaboration is essential to save our planet Earth and the human race, to protect the environment from further degradation, to maintain world peace and order, to prevent unnecessary wars and diseases, to solve problems that threaten our existence, and to create something that is useful and beneficial, profitable and worthwhile for all generations.

Japanese poet-writer Ryunosuke Satoro once wrote, “Individually, we are one. Together, we are an ocean.”


Chris A. Quilpa, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, lives in Suffolk. Email him at