Neil Lewis - Innovative Entrepreneur

Solving problems by growing profitable businesses @neil_lewis

Why freelance teams work best – because iron sharpens iron

This quote came to me the other day…

“As iron sharpens iron,
   so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

… and it occured to me that this is the perfect explanation of why teams – and freelance teams in particular, work better when it comes to delivering freelance jobs.

You see, the traditional way of working with freelancers is serial – that is, in a series of seperate steps, for example

  1. write a brief for a designer – receive designs
  2. write a brief for a web developer – receive new website
  3. ask a copywriter to add some words – recieve new words
  4. send message to customers old and new – await response
  5. …wait…
  6. get disappointed with response

Okay, clearly wrong – not least because the customers doesn’t like the outcome, but why is a freelance team better?

How do you sharpen a knife?

Ask yourself, how do you sharpen a knife? Well you sharpen one metal or iron against another.

Does this mean the sharpening block is better than the knife – no. But it does mean that neither the block nor knife are better on their own!

And that is what team work should deliver…

If done well, then a team of talented and capable people can become an exceptional team capable of amazing delivery!

Just as the knife and block sharpen each other, when we allow capable people to challenge our thinking and actions – as we develop our ideas /actions, then we raise our game.

So, a perfect freelance team would (following the above example) consist of the freelance creative designer, freelance copywriter, freelance web developer and freelance online marketer, all sitting together (yes, you can’t do this on twitter) and sharpening each others ideas and proposals.

I’ve seen this – and it is quite amazing to see who different perspectives – say a creative designer, can bring powerful insights to the sales team; but also, by working together, those insights can be delivered directly and acted on immediately.

So, next time someone asks you – why can’t you just do all this from home – remember – iron sharpens iron.

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Written by Editor on June 23, 2011 and filed in Entrepreneurs, Featured, Freelancers, Innovative Entrepreneur, Opinion , ,

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