Collaboration - increase the pie not simply divide it!30 April 2013
With the introduction of a new British Standard (BS11000) focused on collaboration between key parties the aim now is how to grow the pie rather than simply spend time and effort dividing it. This is more prevalent in austere times as there is often less to go around, so businesses will tend to, as do people, revert to type and grab what they can at the expense of others. The focus needs to be on economies of scale and innovation.
Economies can be found by parties collaborating and ensuring that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is easier said than done as cultural differences have to be overcome to embrace greater strengths in other organisations. BS11000 seeks to address this through parties being empathetic to the business drivers and objectives of their partners, be they clients and contractors, members of a JV or a contractor and their sub-contractors.
Innovation is a greater challenge and must focus on how we can do things differently in a world of constant change and expectation. This is where collaboration comes into its own. If a company and its people are able smash the sacred cows of a bygone era and harness the ideas and strengths of their partners – innovation will flourish.