Collaboration is the key to growth & isolation is the recipe for death.
This perspective makes a nascent organisation or a start-up grow rapidly and cultivate an ecosystem happily in a trusting relationship. But unfortunately, this perspective of the organisation dies at the altar of growth to the bigness in size and structure. As the organisation grows, it requires efficiency as drivers for growth and functional silos start setting in. As department heads start pursuing their respective goals and objectives, somewhere, the organisation starts losing synergy. This starts the journey of stultification of growth, open culture and collaboration.
Taking a cue from mathematics (calculus), I always say that any organisation or entity needs two distinctly different actions, opposed to each other but balancing each other. These are integrations and differentiations – we need to constantly differentiate for excellence in functional roles & integrate for achievement of organisational goals/growth.
Digital transformation of an organisation cannot be left to a function like IT dept, or a leader like CEO or CIO or CFO or CXO. It is now the responsibility of collective leadership to drive a culture of running the organisation on digital platforms, empowering employees & partners to embrace digitality and innovate collectively. Technology is arriving at a lightning speed, business models are getting shaped on the fly and we have seen how shared economy has emerged.
But it is easier said than done. It needs an empowered ecosystem constituting talents & digital platforms. It is a top driven approach to make it a strategic drive. It needs six distinct mindsets/actions for a successful ecosystem to enable collaboration on digital platforms –
Aligned strategy & shared goals
The partners must know in advance the strategy and his/her share in the outcome that happens.
Make customer experience central to the innovation
Solving real customer problems creatively is the genesis of innovation. Listing customer pain points, stated & unstated, is the start of this journey.
Foster an open & creative culture
An organisation can have the best people and technology, but without effectively empowering both with the right culture, it will not fully realise the benefits. Culture change is led from the top. Leaders can encourage the workforce to innovate and take risks — which is what digital partnerships are all about.
Protect the valuable asset IP
IPR protection and well-written contracts eliminate hassles of doubts and possibilities of frauds/malpractice leading to protracted legal battles draining energy & initiatives.
Re-engineer process & operating models, adopt tech platforms
One should verify the current business processes & operating models for its suitability for collaborations & modify if needed and adopt the latest/suitable technological platforms/technologies to enable success within internal & external extended business ecosystem.
The collaboration platform must enable to transact by participants at different stages of work
The platform is where the ideas are dated, the POCs are nurtured, the projects are implemented and yet the IPRs are respected. The workflows, document sharing, virtual conference, SaaS usage, license protection, protection of working relationship as agreed in the contract etc are to be enabled professionally.