John C Maxwell
I have been constantly astonished of late by the realm of business possibilities being opened up by forward thinking corporations and leaders across the planet. It began, I suppose, when I watched a TED talk by the inimitable Yochai Benkler about volunteer based projects such as Linux and Wikipedia, and the way they are transforming the business landscape in terms of their collaborative nature. I started to look further into the commercial side of collaboration, and how big businesses were working in this space.
What I found amazed and humbled me.
Companies – and countries, for that matter – who you would perhaps never expect to find engaging in such an open and transparent working environment, are truly putting their corporate hearts and minds into full partnership to make a difference to the future. And the difference is not just to the bottom line, but in many cases will impact on greater society, and certainly on the culture and management style of the companies involved.
This is practical, thoughtful commercial collaboration. This is what the big thinkers have been dreaming about – and it’s finally coming to fruition. This is proof positive that the future of business is not, as readers of my blog will know I am fond of saying, beige.
- Space LEGO Takes On A Whole New Meaning: NASA and LEGO have joined forces to make science fun, and fun, well, more scientific (but not in a bad way). Known as the Space Act Agreement, for a three year period LEGO is supplying NASA with models and toys for use in the International Space Station. They include LEGO versions of satellites, the ISS itself, and a space shuttle. The astronauts will record their results and share them with NASA and schoolchildren to help familiarise them with their work. The models are built by the crew in orbit and also by school kids around the world. In turn, NASA is providing LEGO with ideas for their new collections at varying levels of complexity, from small children to adult. Watch out Star Wars…
- Recycling Heaven From The King Of Consumers: It’s hard to imagine Coca-Cola at the forefront of the environmental revolution. But in collaboration with ECO Plastics, they are set to change the face of plastic waste management in the UK. Working together, they are running a recycling plant in Lincolnshire, which once fully operational will enable the processing of 75,000 tonnes of PET materials per year. Currently the entire output of the UK is 35,000 tonnes. Glamorous? No. Essential for the planet? Yes. According to an independent study, use of recycled plastics reduces CO2 emissions by 68%. Enjoy life!
- A Public Need Gets A FaceBookLift: The UK’s NHS has taken the organ donor campaign to the place where people’s hearts are – and it’s not at home. It is of course, online. They are using Facebook to campaign for the need to donate. Through the page NHS Blood and Transplant, Facebook users can register directly as donors, share their wishes with friends and family, and raise awareness about organ donation. A similar campaign is actually being prepared here. Imagine the stress that would be removed from loved ones if your desire to be a donor is in the public domain? This is a case of Facebook giving back at no cost to the NHS.
These are only three examples. The best thing? There are hundreds out there. Collaboration in the cloud, in medicine, in tourism, in apps. The possibilities are endless and mindblowing. The combinations of companies and entrepreneurs are both staggering and in some cases almost unbelievable.
Think about who you would love to have on your dream team. If you could collaborate commercially with anyone on the planet, who would it be?
Now think again. How are you going to make it happen?
The world is a very small place. The once impossible is now the possible.
All you have to do is dream… and add the other half of the equation.