The latest version of my book Achieving Collaborative Success is now freely available to read and download. Click on my picture to get it.

Thursday 10 January 2013

Exploit collaborative capital

Creating a reputation for being committed to working in partnership with other players in an industry or sector is of immense value.

New biotechnology companies seek out well known and well established biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with which to collaborate. Being associated with these trusted players helps address the legitimacy and credibility issues that automatically attach themselves to most new ventures. It can also help them gain additional influence within their sector and attract increased funding from investors. 
The Italian oil company Eni has a long standing reputation for seeking to forge alliances with African national oil companies. The fact that they did this first, at a time when other international oil companies showed little or no interest, and have consistently maintained and developed this approach over many decades, has made them a partner of choice for many national oil companies.
The IT company Intel has gained much collaborative capital from its high profile and highly successful history of collaborations with others from within its sector.
Being involved in fruitful collaborations with key competitors and others of present or potential significance provides companies with collaborative capital that is as valuable as money in the bank. Organisations can use this capital to enhance their legitimacy and credibility, gain influence within their sector or industry and become a trusted partner of choice for their competitors.

For more about collaboration go to: Sleeping-with-the-Enemy-Achieving-Collaborative-Success-2nd-Edition

Thursday 3 January 2013

Bite-size pieces: a partnership must focus on short and long-term issues at the same time

When a partnership is formed it is often in response to some very pressing need that individual organisations alone have not been able to address effectively. As a consequence of this, short-term aims and concerns tend to clamour for attention. It is, however, a partnership’s longer-term strategic aims that are most likely to make the real difference in terms of whether or not a partnership is truly effective in its endeavours. Therefore a partnership delays dealing with these longer-term aims at its peril.

When ‘Community Links’ worked in partnership with others to set up a Social Enterprise Zone in Newham they had many pressing issues that needed to be addressed in order to get local people out of the poverty trap and contributing to the development of their community. They also knew that any advances they made would be very short-lived if not embraced over the longer-term by mainstream organisations.
The simple act of inviting someone from a mainstream public organisation (the Inland Revenue) to work with them helped address both short and long-term goals. They gained key expertise that helped address short-term issues around dealing with the informal economy and encouraging people away from benefits, and they also created a conduit into a key organisation that would help them achieve their long-term aim of cementing new ideas and practices into the mainstream.
From Sleeping with the Enemy - Achieving Collaborative Success:
For more details click here.