I had a really good day yesterday. I was fortunate enough to have a project proposal selected for use by Lancaster University’s Business School for an MSc final year project in Marketing.
Getting a project selected is both a support and a responsibility. I didn’t realise that the project accounted for a fun third of their final year marks. Although they have nothing left to do for the remainder of this year, it is a serious responsibility for both the students and for me to ensure that two things happen. We must ensure that the project runs smoothly and yields a successful result. In this case, a successful result means a market study that helps my business. Of equal importance is ensuring the students achieve the highest possible marks in their final dissertation.
One interesting discussion centered around co-operation compared to collaboration. I have long held the belief that whilst most organisations work hard at co-operation, it isn’t really what they need to do.You see co-operation is what happens when all parties set out to give the minimum away and achieve the maximum personal and functional gain, regardless of the impact on the overall organisation. Collaboration is a different matter altogether. Collaboration requires all parties to be open about their wants and needs, then work out how to deliver the maximum possible benefit for all parties, whilst ensuring the needs of the business are protected.
Collaboration creates trust and bonds teams together within functions and across functions. This bonding, and trust creation makes collaboration a key aspect of process improvement, and project work.
So how did this apply to a marketing degree project?
The students and I are inextricably linked for the next few months. If I have not explained the project brief clearly enough, they will be unable to achieve a high degree mark .That is why I must ensure that I answer their questions fully and act on the tasks we agree. For their part, the students must work through the brief diligently and ensure they answer the questions thoroughly. It will be interesting to see what results come from the project.
The students now have a few weeks to create their marketing proposal, once that is agreed, they will conduct the market research over the summer and present it back to me in August. I seem to have two very smart young ladies taking care of my project, I look forward to the insights and strategies that come from their analysis.