As a student, you were told 5 million times how important it is to get your name on a paper.
We’ve got news for you: the benefits of authorship, specifically co-authorship, extends to business. As you share the authorship for the direction of your company and the ideas Here, we talk about how to share
authorship in a way that’s beneficial and productive for all involved–and ultimately beneficial for your business.
Finding Opportunities for Co-Authorship
First things first: how do you find these opportunities? As a student, the easiest place to get in on important papers was working with your professors. In business, the same basic rules apply. You can work with leaders in your industry to combine insights for other professionals–it can be right for both of you. You could also work with academics if their field intersects with your particular business interests. Once you’ve found a potential candidate, you should already have some idea of what topic you’d like to collaborate on so they’re clear on the project they’re signing up for. Clarity on the topic can also help you decide if you want someone who can play off your subject matter specialty. From there, it’s all a matter of convincing them the benefits of co-authorship
in general and the benefits of working with you in particular.
Clear Division of Labor
Once you’ve got a collaborator on board, you need to have an honest discussion about how you plan to divide labor. The road from cool idea to published final product is a long one with plenty of potential potholes. Issues related to the division of labor are a big one. For example: who will be collecting the data? Who will be going through the data for the insights you need to make the important points? Who will be doing the writing? Who will be editing? What about graphics? Will you split the time? All of these are important to talk about before you dive in and find yourself halfway through the book with someone you can’t stand working with. The division will be a little different in practice, but you should at least have an idea of what direction you’re heading.
Negotiate Authorship Credit
You’re both presumably going to have your names on the final product, but whose name goes first? Alphabetical works great for you if your last name is Albert, but not so much if your last name is White. It’s not just about author credit, though. It’s about who the data ultimately belongs to, what happens if one of you wants to move forward with a different project using this data, etc.
An Authorship Prenup
Finally, you should negotiate the co-authorship equivalent of a prenuptial agreement. You need to know who’s doing what, who’s covering what, who keeps the data if you part ways, etc. Have the less pleasant conversations early–they’ll be much worse if you find yourself in a sticky situation later.
More Insights for Your Business Growth
Ready to grow your business beyond authorship? Check out our blog for all kinds of posts to help your business flourish, like this post on how communication affects productivity
in the workplace. Or, for a closer look at what our platform has to offer your business, take a look at our product page.