The fallout from this year’s pandemic is yet to be fully ascertained. The long trail of damage it has caused will provide lessons that will invariably be critical for all forms of organised life, whether that be a local community or a city or a business or government. Understandably, as clearly no one entity is capable of producing effective solutions, the complexity of the disruption has revealed the fact that complex problems require a collaborative approach. One of the groups that has embraced collaboration is the pharmaceuticals industry, in the process awakening the age-old challenge of finding a balance between competition and collaboration. In a recent article, sponsored by UK based technology centre CPI, we hear a renewed argument for the importance of collaboration as a precursor to effective innovation. Innovation, we may add, that is essential for resilience and growth despite the crisis.  A starting point could be learning from others who have benefitted from collaboration, as this selection of recommended reading demonstrates.


7 Strategies for Promoting Collaboration in a Crisis

Crises like the Covid-19 pandemic highlight the importance of effective collaboration for long-term commercial success. Particularly in a crisis, organizations need to pull together experts with unique, cross-functional perspectives to solve rapidly changing, complex problems that have long-term implications. The diversity of experience allows a group to see risks and opportunities from different angles so that it can generate new solutions and adapt dynamically to changing situations.

Research shows, however, that anxiety makes people more risk-averse in a crisis; as a result, they are less likely to seek out differing perspectives. They tend to fall back on actions and solutions that have worked in the past — what researchers call “threat rigidity.” The desire to try to bring things under control can also lead to a go-it-alone mentality. And as resources (finances, job opportunities, even physical supplies) dry up during a crisis, people often focus on self-preservation. As a result, collaboration across an organization can break down. Our research on the 2008 financial crisis, however, shows that collaboration leads to sustainably higher commercial performance. In this article, we offer seven actions that leaders can take to foster collaboration…READ ON


Collaboration can lead to innovation

Innovation is a competitive advantage for Canadian farmers. It is through ongoing innovation that Canadian wheat exports will compete with the likes of the Black Sea regions. In the period of 2015-18, Canada has consistently been in the top 10 wheat-producing countries in the world and within the top five wheat-exporting countries.

Focusing on innovations by increasing wheat yield while maintaining our country’s reliability in yield, sustainability, food safety and quality will help advance Canada’s position in a competitive global wheat market.

Cereals Canada has been working to improve Canada’s innovation in wheat by co-ordinating the National Wheat Research task group alongside Agriculture Canada. The Task Group is a collaboration from across the country that includes public and private funders of research, public and private researchers, farmers, exporters and processors. The goal of the task group is to facilitate investment in innovation in wheat to help enable the industry to respond to changing producer and consumer demands….READ ON


How To Augment Collaboration And Productivity Working Remotely

Globant, (GLOB) an Artificial Intelligence (AI) company, created a tool to boost collaboration among its employees that were distributed around the globe. Nowadays, with more than 14,000 associates worldwide, the tool has transformed their way of working and is helping their clients, too, through what they call augmented collaboration. No wonder, Globant shares (NYSE:GLOB) gained 41.3% in the first six months of the year.

The lower productivity of actively disengaged workers penalizes U.S. economic performance by about a figure nearly equal to the nation’s defense budget as per a Gallup research. Disengaged workers report more days of work missed for illness and increase turnover. And these costs are previous to the pandemic; keeping employees engaged while working remotely is even more challenging.

Companies are working hard to create virtual brainstorming sessions and develop tools to track performance and capture ideas, but keeping the culture alive is not an easy task…READ ON


Bringing the benefits of in-person collaboration to the virtual world

Over the past few months, while many workers were adjusting to a newfound reliance on Zoom meetings and Slack messages, employees at companies including toy designer Mattel, banking giant BNP Paribas, and the multinational energy corporation Enel Group have been collaborating in shared spaces. They’ve been using whiteboards and sticky notes to organize ideas, and even finishing up work sessions with handshakes and high fives, all without the slightest concern of contracting Covid-19.

That’s because they’re meeting virtually on the platform of Spatial, a startup using augmented and virtual reality to improve remote collaboration. The platform works on most virtual reality headsets available today, simulating the experience of in-person meetings with life-like avatars, dynamic sound, and interactive controls. It also allows users to generate and manipulate content including 3D models, images, videos, and PDFs, with simple hand gestures and voice commands…READ ON


Competition or collaboration: from which well does innovation spring?

So what about the other stream feeding this well of innovation – collaboration. Collaboration’s link to innovation is more straightforward and an active role for government in supporting collaboration is clearer than in competition policy. Knowledge can be a highly specialised and fragmented resource. Conventional markets are not always effective at supporting knowledge transfer and spillovers. In order to translate knowledge into economic gains, support is required to connect the different actors. So there is a clear role for government to intervene…READ ON


Bicultural collaboration roadmap

Indigenous knowledge and modern research can combine to generate valuable new information. That’s the findings of a new bicultural study published today in the European Geosciences Union’s journal Earth Surface Dynamics, which sets out a roadmap for how this can work in the area of geosciences.

“There are clear links between Indigenous knowledge and values with respect to geomorphology,” said Clare Wilkinson, a Ph.D. student at Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury, “but there is not much research that weaves these two cultural knowledge bases together.”

By pinpointing a range of tools relating to framework methodologies, the review paper provides pathways for the development of bicultural collaboration designed to ‘maintain the integrity and validity of both methodologies’…READ ON


Are collaborations the ultimate cure-all?

collaboration cure all

“Collaboration partners continually add, and advance, emergent and disruptive technologies” – David Tudor Image:© GETTY IMAGES

A diverse, ageing population with increasingly complicated health problems, combined with rising costs for drugs and a need for more personalised treatment places significant stress on our healthcare system. To meet these needs, the medicines manufacturing industry must adapt and take full advantage of recent advances in digitalisation and other technological innovations. In other industries – including the automotive and energy sectors – these innovations are becoming widely adopted. However, the high cost of implementation within the strictly regulated medicines manufacturing sector has limited new technology uptake…READ ON