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Thursday 1 October 2015

The combining trade

(The 'combining trade' is one of four styles of trade those seeking to work with others need to know about and use. To find out about the remaining three trading styles click here.)

The combining trading style is most effective when: an enhanced focus upon a new area is required; the size and scope of the collaborative activity increases significantly; the collaboration begins to attract and involve additional partners and collaborators from outside the original membership.

Given this, a combinatory trading style may prove to be the next logical step from a collaborative trading position. Having explored each other's perceptions and joint areas of interest, and having created a jointly understood language and way of working together, trading partners may naturally move towards a fusion of ideas and outlooks that is mutually beneficial in that it utilises the best of all the partners' worlds and encourages and enables the exploration of new areas and opportunities. 

The trading partners eventually fuse into one trading group that looks outwards, finding new people, organisations and areas with which to connect and trade.        
This outward focus is the combinatory trading style's most significant. This is because it makes the style's activities more strategic, wide ranging and ambitious than that of the first two trading styles, which are arguably more tactical, localised and perhaps inward looking in their focus.

Scientific collaborations often evolve a combinatory trading style, the ever-growing complexity and entanglement of the areas researched leading to new fused focuses and new branches of science that eventually become discrete new disciplines. Biochemistry and biotechnology are well known and well established examples of this. More recent fusions of disciplines have led to synthetic biology, quantum biology and organic electronics. As these and other new disciplines continue to combine and fuse they attract and create new knowledge and skills that lead to new insights (and ever more scientific disciplines!).

Within the business world, the UK high street combination of Curry's and PC World is an obvious and relatively straightforward example of a combining trade, where both companies have complementary knowledge, skills and resources that are to the benefit of both and which enable the combined entity (in the form of combined retail outlets) to look outward toward new customers and opportunities. (However, the fact that both companies share a parent company may point to a measure of coercion having being applied to the relevant decision making.)     

Closer working between health and social services has led to the creation of combined teams which can offer a seamless service to patients, benefit from cross-sector expertise and experience and, because of their increased spread of activities and connections, discover new partners to work with and new areas to work within.

This has especially been the case where health, social and other services have become associated with GP multi or 'super' practices where the increased and diverse expertise and resources available, together with the enhanced reach of GP activities, have added significantly to opportunities for discovering new partners and new areas of contribution.

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