The notion of collaboration as a competitive business strategy has been around for some time. In some sectors it works better than others, but the overall impact on high performing enterprises that look for every bit of advantage they can add to their competitiveness has been demonstrated many times over. And yet, the bulk of businesses are still slow to grasp the shift in business thinking that is currently underway and struggle to reconcile competition with collaboration. The current situation is well expressed in the words of a famous theoretical physicist, Carlo Rovelli who remarked, “The idea that collaboration works better than competition is very weak in the world – and I still feel sorry for that.”. Regardless, the shift towards collaboration as the new competition is not slowing. Some of that thinking is captured in this edition of recommended reading.


Collaboration may be the best way to beat the competition

Faced with existential challenges on four fronts – economic, technology, societal and environmental – businesses of all sizes across the globe are working hard to come up with viable plans to fend off potentially insolvency-inducing disruption.

How these critical risks will play out over time is unknown and will be different for every business depending on its sector and size. But even in this fog of uncertainty, companies are formulating a variety of responses to ensure a profitable future.

According to KPMG’s 2018 global CEO survey, the top five strategies to drive medium-term growth are (in reverse order) outsourcing (10%), joint ventures (13%), mergers and acquisitions (16%), organic growth (28%) and strategic alliances with third parties (33%).

While the other strategies could be described as business as usual, the emphasis CEOs are putting on teaming up with others is intriguing. With digital technology allowing disrupters to enter markets almost at will, organisations are starting to think about embracing what were once deadly rivals…READ ON


Is Collaboration The New Competition?

shared vision

This complete shift in mindset—setting a shared vision with competitors—conflicts with the training given to legions of MBA students and long-held beliefs in management science. Nigel Tadyanehondo, Unsplash

As companies make progress on blockchain technical challenges, new obstacles are emerging—and this time they’re human. Distributed ledgers hold the power to help disparate organizations to finally agree on what’s true. This lays the rails for a new era of interconnected businesses in which organizations in successful networks could cut operational costs and co-create new markets. But for an enterprise blockchain project to truly succeed, its sponsors—often competitors—first need to trust in and execute on a shared vision of change. This is proving to be difficult…READ ON


5 brilliant brand collaborations (and what you can learn from them)

We’re apparently living in the golden age of the collaboration. People are always trying to ‘golden-age’ stuff – TV, comics, capitalism – but, with this, they really might have a point. Collabs are nothing new. The first TV ad aired in 1941. The first collaboration – of sorts – happened well before that. Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, a chinaware company, worked with the British royal family on a marketing campaign before marketing campaigns even existed, way back in the 1760s.

A couple of hundred years later, H&M worked with Karl Lagerfeld, creative director at Chanel, in a landmark 2004 collaboration that saw a combination… READ ON


Competition or collaboration: from which well does innovation spring?

According to estimates by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, as much as 50 per cent of long-term economic growth of its member countries can be attributed to innovation and this contribution is expected to grow. Australian micro level data supports the macro view that innovation is crucial for economic growth.  ABS data shows that innovation-active firms are more likely to report increases in sales, profitability, productivity and firm size than firms that do not innovate…READ ON


The future of conservation is collaboration

I dream of a future where nonprofit groups focused on conservation are no longer needed. It’s a future where all citizens, all leaders embody an ethos where conservation is simply a part of every decision and action. But what will it take to get there?

The future of conservation is collaboration — specifically, collaboration between business and conservation communities such that conservation is not a separate project, group or conversation but part of our DNA. Part of who we are — as citizens, family members, leaders, entrepreneurs, humans…READ ON


U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance Committing to Cooperation with Food Industry to Nourish an At-Risk World

“Our future is dependent upon contagious collaboration between the food and agriculture value chain,” added Fitzgerald. “I’m urgently asking all innovators, food makers, non profit groups and financial institutions to join us as we create a strategic roadmap to meet these challenges of the next decade.”

In early June, nearly 100 top leaders across agriculture, technology, NGOs, finance and investment, and food companies gathered at a 1400-acre farm an hour outside Washington, D.C., to discuss the urgency of the issues and collaborate on a vision. The Honor the Harvest Forum, created by USFRA and The Aspen Institute, featured working…READ ON