In the world of literature, I noticed that it seems to be no big deal for foreign authors to collaborate on writing a book or series. One of my favourite series while growing up, Left Behind, was written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Thinking about Nigerian literature, I’m racking my head to remember any collaborations beyond books on marriage written by husband and wife.
Beyond literature, it seems to be commonplace to choose competition over collaboration.
I remember a time, when my organisation decided to host a workshop and had decided to collaborate with someone. We had meetings and split functions towards making the event a success. I tell you the truth: this fellow practically showed up on the day of the event expecting to split profits with little work done.
From the experience, I realised that competence alone is not enough in picking the right associate. Competence with character is the formula to apply. To the fellow’s credit though, he did not fuss at all when we expressed our displeasure with his complacent attitude to the agreement, and did his best to help out on the day of the event. We also went to work together later, although with a different arrangement, not allowing that experience to ruin the relationship in its entirety.
One could argue that collaborations are easier in Western countries because they have functional legal systems to address issues that could arise. But then, I wonder: what happened to the good old days of a gentleman’s agreement?
As a person, would you be open to collaborations or not and why? What tips have you applied to keep your fingers from getting burnt? Leave a comment!