The secret ingredient for business innovation for 2017 and beyond

people working together

Before stepping into your car, have you ever stopped to wonder what an incredible piece of machinery it is – what a genius the inventor was, what incredible innovation it is, what was the level of complexity involved in creating it? Now can you imagine this same process of creating the first car ever, while at the same time going up against powerful competition with years of experience, assets adding up to millions of dollars, networks and distribution channels spanning continents?

the first automobile

This is the challenge for any disruptor in a nutshell, no matter which industry.

And the truth is, we believe that doing things alone is simply not the right way of getting things done. We believe that collaboration between organizations is the key for serious disruption.

This is an amazing period for business innovation. There are countless opportunities to turn old and established industries upside down, with the help of revolutionary technology such as cloud computing and analytical tools. And yet, the textbook definition and requirements for innovation are no longer as relevant as they were in the last 30 years. Innovation and technology have brought us computing, internet and mobile apps, but we have reached a stage where we require more than just new technology; there is also an urgent need for cross-industry knowledge in laws, regulations and protocols.

There are many instances of evidence of the inadequacies of the “old” innovation approach. One needs not look further than Tesla – a pioneer- who by attempting to reinvent the automobile was forced to make massive investments in non-core parts. While Tesla is applauded for sleek design and technological breakthroughs, it is heavily criticized for the lack of luxury in the cars’ interior. Other examples of how lack of knowledge makes organizations vulnerable can be seen in the controversies stirred by other disruptors such as Uber and AirBnB.

We believe that there is a better way than going it alone – one that can yield radical result.

Our experiences have taught us much about collaboration between organizations – not necessarily through investment, but by exchanging ideas, expertise and a vision to achieve common goals. To create disruption in 2017 and beyond, organizations – big and small – need to get over the traditional mindset of competition and silos, and instead join forces and maximize each other’s strengths.

Collaboration is definitely a difficult concept to accept initially, so how can it be done?

First, the organization must change its mindset.

Of course, everybody wants to take their idea and run with it, move fast and grow exponentially, but it is clear that is can be risky without the right knowledge. It is therefore wise to identify the core strengths of the organization, and accept that you simply cannot be the best in everything, and that there is plenty of knowledge and experience out there which can help you get the results you’re looking for. Change can come from the top or from the below. But either way, when looking at results, it is always better to get 80% of something, than 100% of nothing. Results come from taking risks, from being perseverance and from knowledge and experience. By collaborating, each company can utilize these critical parts of reaching their commercial targets.  The best thing is to change the mindset before it is forced upon you. With an ever-changing market space, it will soon be time anyway. Embrace the mindset of the shared economy for businesses and start a conversation about it at your workplace – and do it this week to enable the change to begin.