The all knowing fountain of collective knowledge that is wikipedia has an article about Collaboration. It starts with the sentence 

Collaboration is working with others to do a task and to achieve shared goals

Now, I know that we sometimes associate the word “collaborate” with evil ends, and naughty people, doing horrible things in concert. (as in ‘together’, not on a stage with an orchestra) . A colluding of sorts.

But for me, collaboration in business is everything. I’m a firm believer in the sound economics of value based service, and collaboration in achieving goals.
Examples of good collaborations abound in business, and while they may be (sadly) outnumbered by the more nefarious collusions that attract the attention of the ACCC, or the Competition Commission in South Africa, they should be lauded nonetheless.

Using the word collaboration openly, as I do, has resulted in some very interesting conversations. 

I have even been warned that I would be reported to the ACCC, because apparently simply saying collaborate is so dangerous that I cannot be trusted to do the right thing by myself, my employees, my clients, or anyone else in my industry (competitors or not) . 
Whatever. I rolled my eyes just there. 
Let me be clear on the meaning of the word and the context in which I use it. Collaborate is not a dirty word. 
Collaborate means to grow business success such that all participants in the supply chain benefit. 
That means : I benefit, anyone working with me will benefit, my clients will benefit,  and pretty much the whole industry benefits in some shape or form. Value is added at every stage to anyone, including those at the purchasing end of the business transaction. 
If all 4 of these are not true in some context, then it’s not a true collaboration.
Let’s collaborate … C’mon … What have you got to lose ?