BLOG, Collaboration, In The Media / October 15, 2013

Enter the Collaborative Economy

This article originally appeared in www.formingcircles.com.au.

Last week during one of Arianna Huffington’s speeches here in Sydney she said “It’s time to move from a competitive to a collaborative framework.” I couldn’t agree more – and why?

Commercial collaboration is the key to endless opportunities to future-proof business, career and personal success. Great potential can be created when you move from being solely focused on Me — my skills, my job, my business, my leadership challenges — to working freely in a world of We, where there is active collaboration and sharing of knowledge, insight and intellect. Where you openly talk about failures, and equally share knowledge; where honesty, integrity and a belief in opportunity and possibility can create the freedom to invent, to innovate, and to disrupt the status quo and, ultimately, to future-proof yourself.

Commercial collaboration means we are smarter together, we move quicker together and given the increasing complexity of the world we are all living and working within, the inherent diversity that does exist needs more than one of us to find the solution. In fact, the new competitive advantage is the difference of opinion, the collective intelligence this creates and the ideation that results.

We are being challenged every day to invent and innovate, to develop and explore. The agile businesses of the now are the ones that are shaking the trees, developing new solutions to existing problems or even creating problems, and the solutions, that we never knew existed.

The collaborative economy is where networks of connected individuals, communities and businesses — as opposed to centralised closed-door thinking and business planning — work together to drive success. The power of this is inestimable as it connects people, businesses, skills, services, products and space to drive new opportunities and strategies for future-proofing. Who could have imagined, for example, that one day — and that day is now — NASA would be using LEGO building blocks to educate astronauts in the International Space Station, and in turn providing LEGO with inspiration for their designs? Or that Coca-Cola would be working with ECO Plastics to develop sustainable and ethical bottles? Their agreement marks a turning point in the processing of industrial waste in the UK.

The barriers between genders, between generations, between cultures, between the inventors and the investors, between the change makers, the visionaries and those that make it happen — these all have to be broken down. This is all a part of the new Collaborative Economy, of the evolution of Me to We. This is all a part of the new collaborative framework.

Collaboration:

  • creates momentum
  • drives new thinking
  • builds resilience and determination to succeed
  • enables individuals and businesses to explore possibilities and develop strategies to future-proof success.

Those businesses and people that collaborate diversely, across industries, across sectors and across areas of specialisation are the ones that will create future-proof strategies. They are evolving their thinking, developing new solutions, new products and services, new ways to communicate, new technologies.

This is not about a revolution; it’s about evolution.

To collaborate is to lead. And lead with inspiration, and gusto, and innovation and heart.

Perhaps that’s the biggest point.

Its time to step through that door and lead with heart as well as mind.

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Janine’s first book “From Me To We” will be published internationally by Wiley and launched in January 2015 and she would like to offer our subscribers a 20% discount.

All you need to do is click here and enter the code JG20 to receive the discount.

This article originally appeared in www.formingcircles.com.au.

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