Category: Collaborative business models

Case studies and visions on how to shape collaborative models and partnerships, envisioning its benefits

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative culture

Collaborative tourism: is it an original business model?

When we talk about collaborative tourism or tourism peer to peer, we refer to a new trend in the way of traveling based upon sharing basic resources such as accommodation, transport means or personal experiences with other travelers through platforms where the host publishes his/her offer and the tourist makes the booking.

Theoretically, this phenomenon comes from the collaborative economy model, where consumers may also become suppliers by sharing their means with other consumers, also operating on a global scope, prioritizing human relationship above competition and selfishness. The presentation results in being attractive to more and more tourists, who do not really know the business model completely.

Due to the constant transformation of the virtual economy, the task of identifying and describing virtual business models has turned to be quite hard. However, since this P2P platform business model usually determines it’s success, it is no longer unknown: platforms meet the needs of both supplier and buyer, and take a commission from the booked services price.

Checking the four main collaborative platforms operating in Spain for the four types of services available (eating, accommodation, transport and experiences), we find that their revenue sources are not so different from the traditional tourism intermediation models:

  • AirBnB: charges a commission between 6 to 12%, plus 3% of the conversion rate.
  • BlaBlaCar: depending on the amount of the transaction, it charges 1,60€ for transactions from 1 to 8€ or a commission of 20% for transactions of more than 8€.
  • EatWith: it takes a commission of 15% of the transaction.
  • Trip4Real: it takes 25% of the transaction.

A similar procedure is used for any other tourism intermediary, such as a travel agency, a tour-operator, broker, etc. The difference remains in that these intermediaries comply with the regulations in terms of safety, health and taxes, whereas most of the accommodation and transport means offered in the collaborative platforms do not comply with them.

Therefore, the consumer of collaborative platforms pays a lower price due to the non-compliance with the aforementioned regulations, and takes the risk of suffering any kind of accident without the safety prevention means. Furthermore, despite the social sharing philosophy upon which the platform is created, many suppliers operate for profit rather than for the aim of sharing cost or experiences. However, this is difficult to prove and control.

The hospitality sector’s opinion. The outburst of the tourism collaborative platforms has transformed many housing apartments into competitors for the hotels and regulated tourist apartments, and so it has turned into an important issue for the Public Administration.

According to the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Apartments, there are only two possible solutions to this conflict: the total banning of the platform operations –as has happened in many major cities-, or the obligation for the apartments to comply with the same regulations as the current regulated tourist apartments.

It is necessary to take into account that the tourism sector in Spain is hyper-regulated. There are around 250 regulations at the European level referring to intellectual property, consume, safety and payment means, plus those from the local administration. All in all it entails a great deal of costs that do not apply to the collaborative platform operators, including the VAT, the police files, fiscal and sanitary costs. This is clearly a case of unfair competition. In this regard, there are many points to consider:

  • The regulations applying to these tourist housing apartments are different for every region in Spain, for it is necessary for the destination regulators to study them all in detail.
  • It is necessary to consider the product separately from the platform, taking into account that the platform operation is similar to the traditional channels such as the travel agencies, and so the same regulations should apply.
  • The evolution of the global society is likely to propel this paradigm beyond the current conditions, demanding solutions in terms of adapting the new regulation and policies.

This blogpost is from  http://www.visionesdelturismo.es/turismo-colaborativo/

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovative cultureMarketing 3.0

Making collaboration efficient when face to face is not possible

As it has been explained in many posts, content and product co-creation is in the core of Marketing 3.0, though to leverage a significant share of the stakeholders’ creativity potential it is necessary to think of virtual co-creation methods, to complement co-creation workshops and other face to face activities. However, beyond the technological tools such as video-conference, it is necessary to know how to manage virtual co-creation. This article provides many clues to do so successfully.

Started as a simple experiment in social media, in 2010 composer and conductor Eric Whitacre called out to his online fans to record themselves singing “Sleep” by the British choir Polyphony and upload the result. Impressed by the result, he decided to push the concept to the next level by recording himself conducting ‘Lux Aurumque’, then asking fans to sing along to that. This way, the first Virtual Choir was created. The results of that experiment quickly became viral. Now with more than fifteen million views, the Virtual Choir phenomenon has reached all corners of the world, inspiring more and more singers to join each year.

Beyond its beauty and emotional impact, Virtual Choir also fascinated because its implications regarding the potential new uses for new communication technologies and as one of the first virtual experiences turned into something real. The Virtual Choir can also be considered as an important remainder for how businesses might overcome the challenges of virtuality to benefit from innovative and more efficient business processes, customer relationships or forms of production, from co-innovation and co-production to crowdsourcing, crowdfunding or open source.

Not even leaving the limits of a corporation or a company, working remotely can offer operational flexibility, happier employees and lower costs, but to team up virtually with colleagues and coworkers can also pose important challenges. As we know, truly efficient collaboration presents no few difficulties. Virtual collaboration raises even more added complications that require even more care. But as the concept of the extended enterprise becomes more common and most professionals can do their jobs from anywhere, the more critical becomes to get virtual teams right. But how?

Getting right four pillars for virtual collaboration

The answer is not easy. Different studies carried out during the last decade seem to conclude that most of virtual groups fail to satisfy the expectations of companies and their clients. In another study conducted by Deloitte some years ago most of CEO’s and other managers interviewed still considered face-to-face interaction much more productive that virtual communication, and nearly half of them admitted ignorance and confusion about collaboration technologies and their potential.

But some other experts consider is all about how these teams are managed. An Aon Consulting report found that dispersed teams, when run accordingly to this condition, could outperform those sharing the same office space (recording up to 43% higher efficiency). A study of 80 global software teams conducted by BCG and WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management concluded that virtual teams can improve employee productivity when they are properly managed.

But, what do they mean by “properly managed” or “run accordingly to its virtual condition”? According to Keith Ferrazzi and based on his research and experience helping all sort of organizations as customers of his consulting firm, there are four critical elements to get right: right teams, right leadership, right technology and right touch points.

Size is important (the smaller, the better)

We have recently wrote in this blog about how important is to consider people mindset and attitude for working collaboratively beyond their professional knowledge and other skills. Ferrazzi agrees people should first of all be specially suited to work in virtual teams, backing for instance profiles with good communication skills or high emotional intelligence. But it is also equally important to put them into groups of the right size and implementing and clearly establishing and communicating the right roles for each one.

As we know, smaller groups facilitate collaboration. In the case of virtual teams, size should be even smaller than when face to face interaction is the norm (some studies suggest teams of 5-6 people and no more than 10 in any case). Team members reduce effort when they feel less responsible for output, but this fact can equally be applied to non-virtual teams. Collaboration between people not sharing a physical space should pay special attention to ensure inclusive communication, a quality harder to achieve the bigger the virtual group is.

Good leadership amplified

Managers can maximize the productivity of virtual teams also by developing the right leadership. Again, this is a quality to apply to every teamwork, no matter if virtual or not. But right leadership must be amplified in virtual ones. A study of different engineering groups concluded that the virtual teams that performed best were those with managers with previous experience in leading such work groups.

Encouraging open dialogue, for instance, is particularly important in these cases. Leaders of dispersed groups in particular must push members to be frank with one another as the problems associated with lack of affinity are more common and severe for virtual teams. For similar reasons, virtual collaboration requires an extra effort fostering trust among co-workers. Ferrazzi mentions the case of a fully virtual organization that encourage new hires to offer video tours of their work spaces, allowing colleagues to mentally picturing their surroundings in later communications. Managers also push their team members to share personal news as a way to compensate the lack of the common chat about their lives that usually takes place sooner or later when a physical office is shared.

Special care is also recommended about clarifying goals and guidelines and establishing a common purpose or vision (explaining and repeating often the reason of working together and the benefits that will result of that). Particularly vital in the case of virtual teams are guidelines about interaction between members. For instance, multitasking on conference calls should be banned, as full attention is needed when using communication technologies that are not able to fully replace the subtle signals of personal interaction beyond a voice.

Not leaving it all to virtuality

Fostering touch points is also critical. Virtual teams should come together as often as possible. To do so, some specific stages of the working process are more important than others. Kickoff should be one of these for sure, using a first face to face meeting to star working in some of the key points mentioned (clarifying team goals or encouraging trust, for instance). If any proper project management establishes milestones, when dealing with virtual team leaders can leverage them to get people together for celebrating achievement of short-term goals or cracking problems.

And last but not least, efficient virtual collaboration also depends on using the right technology. According to Ferrazzi, even top-notch virtual teams can fail due to poor technology. In this case, recommendations are not so much about detailed features as about fulfilling general needs especially critical in the case virtual interactions. For instance, facilitating automatic transcriptions or records with a simple click, making easy to search for this content in a database or, while using the right tool for each mission, favor technologies that better help to reproduce face to face interaction (videoconferencing instead of a phone call, for example).

This post is from http://www.co-society.com/making-collaboration-efficient-face-face-possible/

Business model innovationBusiness trendsCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureEnvironmental sustainability

B2B sharing: the next logical step for Sharing Economy?

As it has been explained in many posts, collaboration is at the core of destinations 3.0. However, we have focused on the collaborative efforts to co-create or co-innovate with the participation of both individuals and businesses. Another type of collaboration is that of the sharing economy, nowadays in the spotlight because of business models such as Uber or Airbnb, based on peer to peer (P2P) collaboration in sharing resources.

But, what about business-to-business sharing?  B2B initiatives of the sharing economy may not be as well known as B2C’s, but some analysts consider the real power of peer-to-peer exchange may be found in B2B transactions, as businesses could better leverage the potential financial and operational benefits of jumping on the sharing economy bandwagon.

But first, it is necessary to be clear about what “sharing” means. Sharing Economy is a term currently used to designate many different ideas that could be also tagged with so disparate concepts as “gig economy” or “collaborative economy”. For the sake of the argument a sharing economy initiative could be described as one activating idle resources for usage, facilitating the paradigm of access versus ownership, and using technology to enable the matching between idle resources and its demand.

There are still many barriers to B2B sharing…

Key differences between B2B and P2P sharing may explain why you might not have heard as much about the B2B sharing economy as you have about B2C/P2P. For start, there is the cultural mindset we have mentioned so often in here: businesses have been shaped for decades to be competitors, not collaborators. The kind of relationships are used to is exclusively transactional. Owning more and better assets than others is supposed to be a key factor for success. Sharing resources does not come naturally to them, even if there is a benefit for doing it.

Then, there is also the legal hurdles or gaps that many P2P or B2C sharing initiatives are still sorting out. These hurdles are understandably more intimidating in the case of business to business interactions. Finally, the quality and user experience of the sharing economy services is also a factor to take into account. While a disappointing experience is not usually going to discourage a consumer to try again a particular P2P service choosing another peer, a business is less likely to pay for shared services when a bad experience could have a more significant consequences than, for instance, a driver too talky or too quiet in a shared ride.

… but its benefits could tip the scales

But these particular barriers for B2B sharing might be rapidly overcome as the economic environment compels business of all kind of shapes and sectors to leverage its benefits. The promising area of shared commercial services is vast and varied in its potential environmental and economic impacts. Certain B2B sharing services could provide many businesses, especially SMEs, with access to once inaccessible resources that those companies have no way to access if not through sharing. Besides, sharing resources streamlines companies, enabling them to operate faster. It can also allows them to react quickly to market changes in a less expensive and more efficient manner.

For instance in manufacturing, where the increasing versatility spur by flexible manufacturing technologies allows companies to share their production facilities and equipment much easier than in the past. Or in areas related with a bigger pressure for sustainability, where sharing large assets with significant carbon footprints as cars, trucks, industrial equipment or buildings can help to reach environment-friendly goals.

Some examples

The number of B2B sharing economy platforms is still low compared with their P2P counterparts, but some business-to-business players are already enabling businesses to share access to assets as such office space or underutilized machinery:

Sharemyoffice.co.uk lets businesses anywhere in the world advertise their spare desks or office space providing a portal for startups to find their first commercial business space.

Yard Club Rental, recently acquired by Caterpillar, provides a way for construction companies to share their equipment by renting it out when not in use by their own companies.

Floow2 is about sharing between companies every aspect of the supply chain… and more. The most popular categories are cars, trucks, meeting rooms, aerial platforms, communication specialist and designer (yes, professionals can also be shared).

Flexe wants to transform how logistics and supply chain professionals manage growth, inventory peaks, returns and new market entry creating warehouse networks that scale as necessary by connecting organizations that need warehousing space to organizations with extra space.

Breather wants to become the Airbnb for office space and meeting rooms.

Storefront specializes in retail spaces available for pop-up shops.

This post is based on http://www.co-society.com/b2b-sharing-next-logical-step-sharing-economy/

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture change

Collaboration is a Science. The good news is the MIT is researching on it

Collaboration and collaborative intelligence are deeply ingrained concepts within Tourism 3.0. However, there is a lot to be learnt about how to collaborate effectively and how to optimize the leveraging of the collective intelligence for the benefit of the organization. The good news is that MIT is researching about it through various research lines, as explained in this article.

Are we smarter when we work collaboratively?

Depending to who (and probably when) you ask, a very different answer could be given. Several years ago, James Surowiecki popularized the “wisdom of crowds” effect in the book that coined that term, arguing that the aggregation of information in groups results in decisions that are often better than could have been made by any single member of the group. But, on the other hand, we all have also painfully experienced how is possible to have very ineffective groups made up of very smart people. In another bestseller, Quiet, author Susan Cain argued about how organizations undervalue the work and potential of introverts because the social and business cultural obsession with “teamwork”.

So, as usual, the more correct answer to that question is “it depends”. The problem is, we do not know enough about the factors involved in this “it depends”, which is a big ignorance considering we are entering an era in which the concepts of “crowd” or “co-“ are becoming so critical for business and organizations. As we know, different factors push into the direction of making everything more “open” and collaborative, including of course innovation. New communication technologies now allow huge numbers of people all over the planet to work together in new ways. In an increasingly networked world, strict hierarchies are becoming less viable. A new decentralized “bottom-up” management model is needed. And nevertheless, we still do not seem to pay enough attention to understand how collective intelligence works.

The Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT represents an important exception. This first-of-its-kind research effort draws on the strengths of many diverse organizations across the Institute, including the MIT Media Lab, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Dalai Lama Center for 21st Century Ethics and Transformative Values. The Center is laying the foundation for a new multidisciplinary field that involves research challenges impossible to deal with if not from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. This is why works and projects currently developed by the Center involve leading researchers from as different fields as computer science, biology, economics, psychology, social psychology, organizational theory, law and communications.

Understanding collective intelligence

The mission of the Center is to understand collective intelligence at a deeper level that we do today, answering the question of how can people and computers be connected so that collectively they act more intelligently than any person, group, or computer has ever done before. The answering of this question leads to a view of organizational effectiveness that is very different from the prevailing wisdom of the past. It also suggests different ways of thinking about issues as collective productivity, teamwork or leadership, opening up other new questions as what would it mean for a group of people to be “intelligent” or what can we learn from the ways human brains are organized that might suggest new ways to organize groups of people to perform intelligently.

Basically, the Center for Collective Intelligence develops three types of activity. The first one consists in studying collective intelligence in organizations. These studies include different research projects as, for instance, “Sensible Organizations”, a project using new sensors embedded in wearable “social badges” to systematically analyze organizations at a much finer grained level than has been done before; or “Collaborative Innovation Networks”, a research to help organizations increase knowledge worker productivity and innovation.

Secondly, the Center is also developing theories of collective intelligence by observing the new organizational design patterns that arise, especially in the business world. They have looked at more than 200 examples of what they consider interesting cases of collective intelligence, including Google, Wikipedia, the Linux community, Threadless, and InnoCentive. They call this work “mapping the genomes of collective intelligence”, and includes developing a taxonomy of organizational building blocks that can be combined and recombined to tie together the intelligence of crowds. These works also include examining the factors that affect the “collective intelligence” of a group and using the same statistical techniques used in individual intelligence tests to measure the intelligence of groups.

Finally, the Center for Collective Intelligence is also creating new examples of collective intelligence. The biggest project in that area is called the Climate CoLab, where they’re harnessing the collective intelligence of thousands of people all over the world, to come up with new ideas for solving the problems of climate change. As of February 2016, nearly 50,000 people have registered as members and over 1,500 proposals have been submitted.  In addition to members of the general public, the community includes over 200 experts on climate change and related topics who serve as Advisors, Judges, and Fellows.  The 2015 activities included 15 contests on a range of topics from how to reduce emissions from electric power generation to how towns can adapt to changes brought on by climate change.  Nearly 400 proposals were submitted.

This blogpost is from:

http://www.co-society.com/collaboration-science-good-news-mit-researching/

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative culture

Essential reads about collaboration

Collaboration has been on the spotlight of business literature throughout the last years, and so it is difficult to make a good selection when searching for good literature on business collaboration. This article proposes 3 outstanding books that will help you get further insights on this issue.

The Silo Effect

From award-winning columnist, journalist and senior editor for the Financial Times Gillian Tett, The Silo Effect shows the importance of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural collaboration for organizations to succeed. It also shows how the lack of this collaboration sends organizations into deep trouble. Probably this is the book on collaboration with the most interesting case studies.  Readers will find cases of organizations getting collaboration right but also of those felled by the lack of it. Specifically, the book includes eight different tales of the silo syndrome: Bloomberg’s City Hall in New York, the Bank of England in London, Cleveland Clinic hospital in Ohio, UBS bank in Switzerland, Facebook in San Francisco, Sony in Tokyo, the BlueMountain hedge fund, and the Chicago police.

Beside the cases, the book also includes some specific suggestions on how some people and organizations can break those silos down to unleash innovation. Author Gillian Tett’s background in anthropology is present when she examines our tendency to create functional departments (silos) or when she answers questions as why do humans working in modern institutions collectively act in ways that sometimes seem stupid, or why are we so often “blind to our own blindness”.

An interesting twist to highlight. Tett does not consider silos as the “evil” player to eliminate. She recognizes silos can also be beneficial, especially in a world as complex as it is today. Silos in the business world can indeed be uniquely valuable containers in terms of organizational efficiency and productivity. But they can also be, of course, major barriers to communication, cooperation and, especially, collaboration. So essentially everything comes to know how to get their benefits but also avoid or prevent their downsides. And Gillian Tett explains how.

Collaborative intelligence

Collaborative Intelligence is the culmination of more than fifty years of original research that draws on Dawna Markova’s background in cognitive neuroscience. Markova and her “Professional Thinking Partner” Angie McArthur are experts at getting brilliant yet difficult people to think together. They share a consulting practice in which they serve as “thinking partners” to clients who need insight in how better to achieve synergistic collaboration within their firm, a group of “patients” that includes some of the world’s top CEOs and creative professionals.

Rooted in the latest neuroscience on the nature of collaboration, Collaborative Intelligence offers tangible tools for those serious about becoming ‘system leaders’ who can close the gap and make collaboration real. This book is full of practical guidance to help the reader to discover his or her own “CQ” or Collaborative Intelligence Quotient. As explained in the book, each individual has a characteristic way of processing cognitive challenges (Mind Pattern), depending on the kind of attention that their brain utilizes: Focused attention, Sorting attention and Open Attention. There are also three languages of thought (Auditory, Kinesthetic and Visual).

Markova includes many worksheets and questions that readers can use to determine not only their own patterns, but those they work with as well. There are also plenty of tips on how to maximize that pattern for effectiveness in personal work and in collaboration with others. Subsequent chapters demonstrate how the knowledge of these languages and triggers can be used in building teams and in optimizing team interactions.

Collaboration begins with you

Collaboration Begins with You focuses on helping leaders at all levels to create and develop a culture of collaboration. Bestselling author Ken Blanchard and his co-authors show that busting silos and bringing people together is an inside-out process that involves the heart (your character and intentions), the head (your beliefs and attitudes), and the hands (your actions and behaviors). From authors’ point of view, clearly none of these “parts” can function without the other. You need your heart, head, and hands to bring about change and build collaboration with others.

An important fact for those who prefer novels to essays. Authors use the business fable as a format to explain a story about creating a collaborative atmosphere in a company, with a main character who is the leader of a cross-department project that fails because the units involved are too competitive with one another. The solution, he learns, is to shift his and other’s heart, head and hands toward collaboration.

This article is from  www.co-society.com/summer-time-reading-collaboration/

Business trendsCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureEnvironmental sustainabilityStrategy

The Collective Impact Framework

Tourism destinations 3.0 set themselves apart by defining a mission in accordance with the communities’ challenges and concerns. Beyond defining this mission based upon all the local stakeholders’ participation, it is necessary to define a common framework to properly align all stakeholders’ goals, strategies and correlated indicators ensuring the optimum impact and mission accomplishment.

As the idea of “coopetition” started to take root in managerial environments, several collaboration frameworks and methods have been tried putting in place. Probably few of them if any became so rapidly popular and inspired so many projects and enthusiastic followers as the one coined as “Collective Impact”.

An original article describing Collective Impact was published in 2011 in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, written by John Kania and Mark Kramer explaining how a much greater progress could be achieved in relation with increasingly complex social and environment problems if all different players involved in finding solutions (from governments and business to non-profits and public in general) were brought together around a common agenda. The framework described was quickly adopted by many foundations and government agencies as a new approach to community coalition building and collaboration. Six years after that first article was published, many social organizations are now declaring they are using a “Collective Impact” approach.

Collective Impact initiatives have been employed in a wide diversity of social issues and challenges including areas such healthcare, youth, education, homelessness or poverty.

Collective Impact is described as “a structured and disciplined approach to bring cross-sector organizations together to focus on a common agenda that results in long-lasting change”. The concept of “collective impact” was used in contrast to the “isolated impact” that organizations achieve when working primarily alone, acknowledging that most organizations lack the ability to solve (social) problems, especially in a context of increasing complexity. Collective Impact framework highlights how large-scale (social) change requires broad cross-sector coordination.

By applying Collective Impact framework companies can leverage the experience of dozens of initiatives and organizations already involving cross-sector coalitions in order to make meaningful and sustainable progress on social issues.

The Collective Impact approach is premised on the belief that no single policy, government department, organization or program can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society.  The approach calls for multiple organizations or entities from different sectors to abandon their own agenda in favor of a common agenda, shared measurement and alignment of effort. Unlike collaboration or partnership, Collective Impact initiatives have centralized infrastructure – known as a backbone organization – with dedicated staff whose role is to help participating organizations shift from acting alone to acting in concert

“… we believe that there is no other way society will achieve large-scale progress against the urgent and complex problems of our time, unless a collective impact approach becomes the accepted way of doing business.

The original piece at Stanford Social Innovation Review and follow up articles distilled five key ingredients of successful community efforts that shaped the framework used in so many social initiatives so far. Going over them with business eyes and mindset would confirm if these ingredients or conditions can also be applied out of a social challenge too.

Common Agenda: All participants in a collective effort need to be on the same page. When different players are facing together a problem or challenge, it is critical to share a common understanding of this challenge and a common approach on how to tackle this challenge: It is necessary to clearly define the vision, define the goals that want to be achieved and create common grounds before attempting to address these goals.

Shared Measurement: Measurement is key to guide effectiveness and track progress. Without agreeing on what success means to the collective team is difficult to enable collaboration and catalyze action. It is necessary to agree and manage common indicators used by every player or part involved in the project to ensure shared measurement for alignment and accountability.

Mutually Reinforcing Activities: It is necessary to develop a plan of action that outlines and coordinates mutually reinforcing activities for each participant. This will identify ways to work together better and capitalize on individual talents. For this plan of action to be efficient, it is worth first to invest time in understanding the different ways each participant contributes to the common effort.

Open and continuous communication: Communication between all players should be frequent and structured. Proper and fluent communication is a key factor to build trust and assure all goals are mutual and keeps being mutual as the project develops. A good and continuous interaction can also act creating a common motivator. It is important to set up a structured communication plan that can include all kinds of interactions formal and informal and use different tools available.

Backbone organization: all multiplayer initiative needs a group of people maintaining ongoing support for the project strategy, activities, shared measurements and coordinating participating agents. This “backbone organization” can take different forms, but effective leadership will always play a key role in the project success.

This blogpost is from www.co-society.com/collective-impact-framework-collaborate-beyond-social-challenges/

You may also find further information on www.collaborationforimpact.com/collective-impact/

Business model innovationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureStrategy

Basque SMEs collaborate to get larger and more global customers

Effective cooperation between local stakeholders is one of the key success factors for Tourism 3.0 to thrive, but this cooperation needs to be well focused on strategic goals, in a way that many different types of cooperation may be developed. This article explains how SMEs in the same region create an alliance developing four types of cooperation to gain and advantageous position in the international market.

Smart Factory Alliance is a partnership of several SMEs created in order to gain the kind of visibility that just bigger companies can achieve. The collaborative initiative has internationalization and global customers as one of its main goals. The partnership takes place in the growing market of the so called Industry 4.0, one of those emergent contexts of new technologies and disruption in which we think collaboration supposes a core element for its development.

Five companies in the IT sector from the Basque Country (Spain) have set up the Smart Factory alliance aiming to boost their internationalization and being able to obtain contracts with large companies. The alliance will allow partners to offer integral Industry 4.0 solutions to manufacturing companies.

Four types of collaboration. Each of the five companies is specialist in several areas, so the alliance adds on the competence and solutions of each of them, promoting a more integrated, specialized and competitive offer. According to Tomás Iriondo, CEO of Gaia, an industry cluster promoting the initiative, “by working together, these companies can now address more distant, larger and more complex clients thanks to a collective solutions map and a portfolio that becomes one of the widest for Industry 4.0 demands”.

To strengthen the partnership, Smart Factory Alliance has established four types of collaboration. Shared knowledge is considered the most important one. And the most critical, as this sharing will only be possible if first a climate of trust among partners is created. Another two kinds of collaboration will involve common communication strategies to reinforce visibility, and detection of customers and projects. Finally, setting up the Alliance comprised also the technical integration of products and software developed separately by each of the companies partnering.

The Basque culture has collaboration as one of the key values that make it more competitive than its neighboring regions’. It has proved to succeed in many other cooperative ventures. For instance, three years ago, ten Basque companies in the designer furniture and equipment sector joined forces to grow in the retail market. This is a subsector in the world of specialized furniture and equipment for all types of shops in which customers include from a single store to chains, franchises and brands, and large commercial areas or the design of showroom. It’s a huge market but competing for global customers requires a wide range of services.

Creating a common brand, Basque Retail, they can now meet this challenge because each of the firms has a specialized portfolio (furniture, security lights, wood cladding, design lamps …). The alliance makes possible for them to offer complete projects, that is to say, to ‘dress’ from top to bottom a single commercial site or hundreds of stores from the same chain or franchise.

Each one of the companies partnering at Basque Retail keep its own activity coexisting with the one generated by the common brand. The alliance is been possible despite being very different businesses. Some of them are small companies and never worked internationally, some others have been exporting for years. Turnover, sales and products are quite different, but their goal is the same one: to be able to offer a comprehensive solution to both a customer with a single store and one that has a thousand.

Collaboration leading to more collaboration. Internationalization has been also a main driver. Just recently, Basque Retail and its solutions were presented in Düsseldorf during the main global trade show for this sector. For most of partners in Basque Retail, with their sales limited to Spanish market until recently, been able to have a stand in Düsseldorf would have been unthinkable just few years ago.

Currently, close collaboration between companies is working so positively and leading to so many new ideas that they are even considering to create a new collaborative sub-brand focused on “sensorial marketing”, an increasing demand from brick and mortar commercial sites competing with online e-commerce.

This post is from www.co-society.com/basque-smes-collaborate-get-larger-global-customers/

Co-creationCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture changeInnovation

Presidential Innovation Fellows: Co-innovating with (We) the People

As it has been explained in the posts about destination models 3.0, these intend to leverage the intelligence, creativity, initiative and influential power of all its stakeholders from the outset, not only in product and content co-creation, but also up to the business model innovation. In this regard, considering the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) as the destination’s government from the planning and management perspective, some governments are developing innovative practices in this direction, which should inspire also the destinations’ governance organisations.

Some governments are trying to lessen political apathy by engaging citizens in crowdsourcing initiatives for a variety of areas of innovation and decision taking on public affairs. But besides the attempt to prevent further public institutions disaffection, those governments tapping into the knowledge and abilities of citizens are also discovering the benefits to reach beyond the usual experts to expand and diversify the talent pool tackling a problem.

U.S Government and more specifically Obama administration has been especially active in government-driven crowdsourcing competitions and collaborations. Across government, all sorts of agencies are implementing hundreds of crowdsourcing approaches, citizen science programs, and other efforts that have brought the best ideas and talent together to solve mission-centric problems. Last year alone, Federal agencies ran over 85 prize competitions, from small-dollar prizes to winnings of $100,000 or more.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program brings the innovation economy into government, by pairing talented, diverse technologists and innovators with top civil-servants and change-makers within the federal government to tackle some our nation’s biggest challenges.
This program brings the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into government through the most effective agents of change we know: our people. This highly-competitive program pairs talented, diverse technologists and innovators with top civil-servants and change-makers working at the highest levels of the federal government to tackle some our nation’s biggest challenges. These teams of government experts and private-sector doers take a user-centric approach to issues at the intersection of people, processes, products, and policy to achieve lasting impact.

Fellows selected for this unique, and highly-competitive opportunity serve for 12 months, during which they will collaborate with each other and federal agency partners on high-profile initiatives aimed at saving lives, saving taxpayer money, fueling job creation, and building the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within government. As stated in its website, PIF offers to talented individuals from diverse backgrounds “the unique opportunity to work on truly awesome projects with the potential to make a positive impact, with a user base of more than 300 million Americans.”

About the Fellowship

The Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program was established by the White House in 2012 to attract top innovators into government, capable of tackling issues at the convergence of technology, policy, and process.

The PIF program is administered as a partnership between the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the General Services Administration (GSA). In 2013, the PIF program established a permanent home and program office within GSA.

Program Details

The Fellowship is a 12-month program, during which Fellows are embedded within a federal agency to collaborate on challenges with innovators inside government. Fellows are based in Washington D.C. for the duration of their Fellowship, and are considered full-time employees of the federal government.

Fellows operate with wide latitude for individual initiative in planning and executing solutions to problem, and spend a significant portion of their time co-working and collaborating with other Fellows. Throughout the program, Fellows receive support from partners in the White House and change-agents across various federal agencies.

Created in 2012, opportunities for Fellows participating in the program have already include creating new crowdsourcing tools to empower survivors and first responders during natural disasters, significantly improving the quality of US patent system, or even addressing asteroid threats to human populations. Fellows have also unleashed the power of open government data to spur the creation of new products and jobs; designed pilot projects that make it easier for new economy companies to do business with the Federal Government; and much more. These are some of many other resultant projects:

This article is from  www.co-society.com/presidential-innovation-fellows-co-innovating-people/

www.whitehouse.gov/innovationfellows

Business trendsCollaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureInnovationInnovative culture

Co-Innovation will be a new growth path for companies, Singapore considered

Collaborative innovation is one of the key concepts that set Destinations 3.0 apart from others, and one of the main sources of competitive advantage. Singapore –the second most competitive economy worldwide according to the World Competitiveness Index- is an example of best practices in collaborative innovation between the public and private sector.

The Singapore Government launched about five years ago a Public Private Co-Innovation Partnership (CI Partnership) programme to encourage the co-development of innovative solutions with the private sector to meet the government’s longer term needs. The initiative was inspired by part of the recommendations of the Singapore Ministry of Finance Economic Strategies Committee (ESC) in which it was included the idea that Co-Innovation would be a new growth path for companies.

The programme involves the Government committing $450m over 5 years to fund such collaborations. For each of these projects, companies interested in co-developing solutions with the Government can apply for funding to do so.

The CI Partnership works on a public-private problem-based approach to innovation. Public agencies first define Government’s needs where there are no identified “off-the-shelf” solutions. Interested companies can then submit their proposals and ideas for projects to the agencies. Depending on the project, promising proposals can be funded to test the feasibility of the concept, develop prototypes or to test-bed the solution.

Interested companies can log on to the co-innovation website at http://www.coinnovation.gov.sg in which is possible to read Government explanation for the programme:

“Today, in an increasingly complex environment, Government faces many challenges and needs that do not have existing solutions. Singapore companies have the innovation potential to meet those needs. The central idea behind the CI Partnership is that Government can better serve the public through innovations borne out of public-private partnership”.

www.coinnovation.gov.sg

This article is from www.co-society.com/co-innovation-will-new-growth-path-companies-singapore-considered

 

Collaborative business modelsCollaborative cultureCulture change

BCG six rules for managing complexity come down to one: make cooperation happen

As it has been explained in previous posts, Destinations 3.0 are developed upon cooperation between a wide variety of agents, encompassing DMO, DMCs, Tour-operators, Government, local suppliers, local community, etc. To make this cooperation work and manage such a complex network of players, the Boston Consulting Group has developed a new approach to managing complexity, called smart simplicity, which hinges on six simple rules. Guess what? All six rules come down to just one: make cooperation happen.

How do companies create value and achieve competitive advantage in an age of increasing complexity? That’s the question authors of “Six Simple Rules” Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman try to answer. For them, the winners of the new much more complex context will be the companies that can transform complexity into competitive advantage. For that to occur, they provide six managerial rules that go for companies, managers and employees with less-direct control, fewer systems, more flexibility and more autonomy. If read carefully, all six are about increasing cooperation at organizations, but three of them talk about it more directly.

Rule number two is “Look for Cooperation”Authors ask managers to find out how cooperation happens and who makes it happen; identify the “integrators”, the people and units who bring others together and drive processes; and eliminate layers and rules and give these integrators the power, authority, and incentives to make the entire task succeed.

“Six Simple Rules” differentiate between Cooperation and Collaboration. For them collaboration is about teamwork and good interpersonal relationships, which could even lead to the avoidance of real cooperation. Cooperation is a demanding activity that involves taking individual risks because individual contributions to the joint output can’t be directly measured. People only cooperate when, by cooperating, they can win as individuals. “Remove managerial positions if they don’t influence people to cooperate”, authors advise.

Rule number four: “Increase Reciprocity” (to make cooperation happen). Instead of relying on dedicated interfaces, coordination structures, or procedures, authors recommend managers to increase reciprocity, which ensures that people have a mutual interest in cooperation (as their success depends on each other). “Reciprocity makes people cooperate more autonomously and, therefore, makes organizational life simpler.”

And finally, rule number six: “Reward Those Who Cooperate”. If people think cooperation is risky, make it riskier not to cooperate. Most organizations punish failure. But that can make people risk averse. The challenge is to encourage risk taking that improves performance.  For Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman the solution is encouraging cooperation. “People take personal risk, and risk becomes fruitful for the company, when they know they can count on others to compensate, relay, absorb, or provide a safety net in case things go wrong”, they consider.

The original article is available at Why Managers Need the Six Simple Rules

This article is from www.co-society.com/half-bcg-six-rules-better-simpler-management-cooperation/