September 1, 2012

8 Tests of Collaboration Readiness – Part 1

 

The latest report from the Federal Government, “Smarter Manufacturing for Smarter Australia”, can be summarised in two words: Collaboration Imperative. As job losses in manufacturing and closures of a number manufacturing facilities, particularly in automotive began to mount, a Taskforce of business, union and academic leaders was established to come up with solutions to stop or reverse the trend. Whatever industry you are in, don’t be mistaken, if we stop producing value added products and services, we won’t be a ‘lucky country’ for much longer. I invite you to THINK about it and TAKE ACTION. It is about you.

Times are tough. Queensland has just announced ‘austerity measures’. The free ride of the resources boom is over for now and we need to put our marketing and business innovation hats to create competitive advantage for every business. Peter Drucker said “Marketing is about not having to sell”. Today’s release of the iPhone 5 is proof in the pudding. The product release has just confirmed what the brand’s followers expected. There will be queues.

Marketing is not about the press release or a pretty ribbon tied around the new product. It starts with a Vision that gives focus to every employee and keeps the story alive, fueling the desire and creating ready audience.

All too long Australia has relied on its natural resources. There has even been plenty of technological innovation to make production cheaper and more profitable – but not enough innovation to add value to the raw products.  Australia has it all. It’s time we used our resources in a smarter, more sustainable way. Cost of R&D is frequently thrown into the discussion as a barrier to getting results.  True: R&D can be expensive. There is a solution: business collaboration. What can extracting and agriculture learn anything from automotive industry about quality and JIT? What can automotive learn from fashion about speed to market, desire and couture? What are the new connections to be made to corner that competitive advantage and more balanced outcomes?

Because, it’s when we combine existing knowledge into new possibilities, that we can create new, unique solutions faster, cheaper, and more consistently. And, this is especially vital to SMEs and organisations, across all industries, who definitely do not have R&D funds.

So, why is it so hard to collaborate? What can and must be done to change this?

These are the questions at the heart of things when Margaret Manson spoke with Zach Tumin, co-author of the recently published book Collaborate or Perish.

In this 2-part interview Zach provides insights into 8 steps to successful personal and business collaboration using inspirational, real life examples on ‘How to’ win through collaboration. It is an essential listening for Leaders who realise that to succeed, they and their organisations must mobilise and leverage talents, resources and passions of others.

Enjoy Part 1 of the interview: Why Collaboration?

Collaboration is a game changer.

Human beings have been collaborating since the mastodon hunting. We need to collaborate to leverage resources, talents and skills of others. In today’s electronic village, with an unprecedented power of technology and communication to disrupt the status quo, time to respond is approaching zero. The digital technology has changed everything. But it’s not about technology itself. If collaboration were only about technology – the one with the best toys would always win – and yet there still a lot of failure.

Today, with technology vastly accessible we can’t rely on command and control any more. It means: reaching across boundaries, building trust fast, joining up assets of your networks. And, we need to do it faster by inspiring with vision, connecting people across a common platform, getting the right people on board and ensuring collaboration pays off for everyone, and pays well!