The Power in Collaboration

The Power in Collaboration

by Danny Summers

If there is one thing I am certain of, it is there is real Power in Collaboration. I see it nearly every day and certainly multiple times a week watching all of the sharing within The Group. It happens Peer-to-Peer (our Garden Centers) as well as with our Service Providers. It also happens with our Partners for Success and Fall Event Sponsors.

The Power in Collaboration comes in different levels. At the base level, it is sharing details that can help save time and direction. Time is saved by just not having to create or learn something from scratch. Direction comes through being capable of making the right decision the first time.

The base level of time-saving collaboration happens almost every day, mostly through our many eLists. Just this past week, I saw one of our newest Group Centers send the following message to GroupEs... our largest list:

"Hello All,
If you have a daily check list of tasks (like sweep, wipe counters, take out trash) for your employees that is in a document you could easily send to me would you please do that?"

Within minutes, Kayla Albrecht, co-owner of Twin Oaks Nursery had multiple responses with several full example of lists. One that was shared in a spreadsheet format, that even had tabs for different position responsibilities with expected frequency notes.

Of course, Kayla was extremely excited to have these real-world examples that peer Centers were using. This all happened in minutes, maybe not quite as fast as using an AI generator tool but certainly much more accurate!

Direction happens a lot as well. Our Centers often share what did or didn't work for them and this quickly provides personal experience to help make decisions in the right direction.

And direction is most critically provided by our Service Providers. Considering their collective knowledge and experience, I really shouldn't call this a base-level at all. This is major guidance that can change the level of success for a Center – long-term.

The Power in Collaboration is accelerated when we see the synergies of the interaction create something totally new or really different. It's like it takes things to a new level or plateau. This is often seen at The Fall Event when we have Group Centers, Service Providers and our Partners for Success and Sponsors all collaborating in one joint discussion.

I can provide several examples in this area. One is the recent Collaboration The Group has done with Bob Rogers of R.W. Rogers in what we called "Better Shopping Carts... a Working Focus Group." This was introduced in our October 30th GROUPtalk with a blog story titled Signs of Progress.

Following that focus group session, Bob has been working on a revision of one of their most popular carts to better meet the requested needs and now has it in production. It is their new 3-tier cart that nests similar to their other 2-tier carts. He says these will be available this May. They will also have it at Cultivate'24. To download a full specs sheet on the new cart simply click on the image (right).

Another example of Power in Collaboration is working with other industry groups as we all create and refine the "why plants" or "why garden" message. One of these was just announced by the National Garden Bureau (NGB) called The Goodness of Gardening.

NGB says, "All gardeners know how rewarding it is to spend time in the garden. But there are even more benefits than a sense of accomplishment. In broad strokes, we have found there are three primary areas where gardening can be benefit:"

  • Improved diet and physical activity from gardening helps fight a number of diseases
  • Social interaction created by gardening improves overall mental health
  • Scientific knowledge gained from gardening not only benefits one’s mind but also bring more earth/planet awareness

National Garden Bureau works closely with the American Horticulture Therapy Association as they are the only national US organization advocating for the development of the horticultural therapy profession and the practice of horticulture as therapy for human well-beings. #TheGoodnessOfGardening.

NGB has a web page full of great content available to you. Check it out HERE.

A Special Thank You to the National Garden Bureau and All America Selections for their support of The Garden Center Group.

Another strong example of Power in Collaboration will take place Thursday, March 14th, during our next GROUPtalk LIVE session. Tim Quebedeaux will present the results of The Group's Annual P&L Study for 2023. Group Centers have been submitting their individual reports the last 4 weeks and Tim has been compiling all the data. This past week, Tim told me this will be the largest P&L Study ever! Mark your calendar. A reminder of date and time is below.

I hope this illustrates why I say there is one thing I am certain of...there is Power in Collaboration. And the benefits you receive is in direct proportion to the level of participation you contribute, in our Group sharing programs, with our Team of Service Providers, or at The Fall Event.

The Power in Collaboration is waiting and available for all of us.

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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