When Working Together, We All Win

After analyzing in the previous post ” It can be said higher but not clearer: In the ERA OF THE COLLABORATION companies must collaborate with each other – and with ICT before, more and better.”

This seems a good time to lose fear to collaborate between companies. We can see several aspects that can restrain (BARRIERS) or condition (FACTORS) that need, because we can not be excellent in everything, we must concentrate on something that makes us excellent, or at least better than our competition, and we must surround ourselves with collaborators inside and outside the company better than ourselves so that together we are able to do “something big” that unites us in a complementary way and trusting each other. As a sign that “together we win.”

Barriers to collaboration

The 13 barriers to collaboration in companies, indicated in a recent post by Javier Megias, are summarized in:

1. Feeling of property
2. Lack of trust or respect
3. Culture of internal competence
4. Long vision term non-existent
5. Different and non-aligned priorities
6. Everything is confidential
7. Organizational charts and compartmentalized
8. Bottlenecks
9. Ego
10. Objectives and variable remuneration
11. Lack of tools
12. We do not have bridgehead
13. Too much ” seriousness”

I would only add, in line with the phrase of WANTING IS POWER, that values ​​such as egoism (me, me, me, me) should be absent in the DNA of collaboration, where only personal interest is looked at and nothing or little the collective, and present values ​​such as the GENEROSITY AND HEIGHT OF MIRAS, as explained in the previous post.

Collaboration factors

Once you have overcome the two previous points, see that it is a good time to collaborate, and be predisposed to it by breaking down the 13 bars mentioned, the next step will be to see how to do it successfully. The good practices of cooperation networks show that the success of a cooperation network depends to a great extent on five interrelated factors:

1. WIN-WIN: You must identify and realize the BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
New business opportunities are the reason companies join a network. A possible lack of a particular business model should always be offset by a clear strategy that will lead to business opportunities in the future. In any case, the cooperation has to pay off, otherwise companies lose interest soon.

2º. MANAGEMENT: NETWORK MANAGEMENT must be in place, consistent and trustworthy
The cooperation networks are lightweight organizations with a small hierarchy and centralized management functions. However, a common understanding of how to handle business as well as conflict situations is crucial to success. It is therefore necessary to define the basic functions and establish some rules. Network management also plays a key role in the initiation process where guidance and training are required before the rules are put in place.

3º. COMMITMENT: COMMITMENT must be secured with active cooperation
The active participation of all participants and the sufficient allocation of resources (time and staff) are essential for a network, to identify and realize business opportunities. One of the most important aspects that define the commitment is whether the strategy of the network has been well aligned with the individual strategic objectives of the participating companies. This strategic objective must be ensured in the initial phases.

4th. TRUST: TRUST should be developed as a basis for cooperative behavior
Trust has been recognized as an important factor for success in any kind of cooperation. As confidence develops and expands quickly, it depends on the personality of the people involved and the relationships between them. In any case, companies have to get to know each other and work together in order to build trust. Particularly in the initiation phase, personal interviews and social gatherings facilitate this process. However, networks should not only rely on personal trust, but also establish rules to institutionalize trust.

5th. TRANSPARENCY: INFORMATION EXCHANGE must be intensive and transparent
Open communication is a basic factor in relationships of trust. In the beginning of the formation of the network should be shared enough information they need, among the network of potential members to get to know each other well. The network manager can contribute significantly to improving the flow of information at this stage. In the following steps, basic IT tools can be used to support this task.

To finish just a reference to our activity carried out in AIMME for 16 years, always seeking that collaborative spirit with all the agents involved in our technology transfer projects: either we look for the best agencies or companies, or we approach them, it is a two-way road, the field:
– TIC OFFER: that offer a new technology incipient that can imply a significant advance in the competitiveness of the companies of the metal that we serve.
– ICT DEMAND: proposing problems that can be resolved through the application of a new ICT not yet developed by anyone.

Do you collaborate with us? If so, think about what and we talk, in the style:
– R & D projects: propose new projects (individual or collective) where we can add value with our complementary know-how to yours.
– Innovative services : we propose new services offered by you where we collaborate in the diffusion, and implantation if appropriate.
-Training on application of new ICT : propose new courses taught by you, we put everything else (broadcast, classroom, students, etc.).

The Need For Collaboration Between Companies

hands touching

In today’s difficult times, in which companies are faced with challenges and challenges unknown so far to stay in the market, after having done all the cuts and reductions have been feasible, and we do not know what else to do, a possibility very important to consider is to collaborate with other companies.

Understanding collaboration, when two or more companies agree to carry out any action that is convenient for them, for which they contribute resources to be used in a shared way, for a determined period and acting without any subordination between them.

We must distinguish between collaboration and cooperation, since the latter involves a higher level of commitment, and should come after a period in which it is collaborating or when we raise a more complex issue that even needs to have a legal formula that groups companies .

The indispensable condition to collaborate is to have a common goal, since if it does not exist, it ceases to make sense. Collaboration will allow us to achieve this goal through shared resources, integrated into reasonable action plans and at all times preserving the sovereignty and absolute independence of companies. The achievement of the objective collaborating must be faster and cheaper than by any other procedure.

Union forces that can push companies to collaborate can be very diverse: not having sufficient resources to achieve the objective, sharing risks in an expensive project, taking advantage of the knowledge of the other company on some aspect, buying together to achieve economies of scale, share costs to tackle new markets, …

The reasons for collaborating have no limits other than imagination (everything that comes to mind) and obviously the cost (if it can be economically profitable and affordable). But the first thing we must do is perform a self-analysis to discover our needs and verify that they have an appropriate solution through collaboration.

Unfortunately the Collaboration has not been much used by the SMEs that constitute the Valencian business community, which in general has always been prone to individualism and to not share infrastructures, machinery, knowledge, … That is, to do everything for fear of copying, not having the leading role … In these moments, when we need our companies have a greater dimension to get better productivity and therefore their level of competitiveness, this option is fundamental, since only in this way can they approach new markets or improve their situation in existing ones.

And lastly we must not forget that to be successful in the Collaboration a basic condition is the one of the generosity and height of sights, so that it is a win-win for all.