Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Is collaboration the new “organic” growth?

We are becoming a society that increasingly needs to rely on each other. We are past the time when we are able to be completely independent…meaning independent of one another. Our brute force will is no longer the answer to success and movement forward. We are now forced to co-create, collaborate and work together for any success. We are in the world of interdependence. This is true not only locally, but nationally and internationally. Even in our own communities we see that interdependence is the answer and key to forward progress. This frustrates many. It even frustrated me at first. But the key is to allow it.  This is the only way to adjust our sails and pick up the winds of forward progress.

How do you adjust to this interdependence? It isn’t easy at first. We fight it. We resent it. We reject it. This causes more frustration and anger among those of the older world order. It won’t get better. It can’t. We are too integrated at this point; there is no going back. This is a good thing though. We don’t realize it at first, because it is hard to accept that our success and future isn’t solely dependent upon ourselves. At least that is what we think at first when we think of interdependence. We prefer to think we have our own futures in our own hands from beginning to end and that brute force will and bull dozing forward will be the key to our success. In fact, I was a strong believer in that. Few on this planet have a stronger and more forceful will than mine (and I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment). But, it is in fact a complement ….to how we can co-create and collaborate for our mutual successes in this life. Strong wills can now be re-directed to creative forces to
finding solutions with others instead of bulldozing through or over others. Never giving up and constantly re-directing and changing the sails for those winds of success should now be the focus of those strong-willed.

Here’s the good news….co-creating and collaborating means we have help in our success…it means we don’t have to shoulder the burdens all on our own. That is good news. I don’t know about you, but my shoulders were getting pretty sore from all that burden I was carrying around.  It means though that we have to consider others in our paths. But, again, the good news is that we can use others to help us succeed. Not as stepping stones that we step over, but as team members.  Most of us have played some form of organized   Every “we” includes every “I” or “me”. Maybe not in letters, but in concepts. Has anyone ever felt they “lost” when their team won? I don’t think so. Maybe you didn’t receive the MVP or game ball for your play, but you certainly didn’t lose and you went a lot farther in that team win than you could have alone. You need your team members to back you up, pass you the ball, support you as you move forward.
sport in our life, and it’s the same concept. We’ve all heard “there is no ‘I’ in team.” Well, that’s true, but there’s more to it.

The key to all of this is to recognize everyone for their individual contributions to the whole. While you may not want to be a plumber, an urologist, a lawyer or other role in your community, where would we be without each and every role we have? We’d have a lot more problems and be pretty stuck in some areas. So, the idea of having a team to help you succeed is that you don’t have to perform every function. We already see this internal to businesses in the different employee functions we have in each company. What we don’t always see is how it applies also between businesses in any process. Nearly every business buys or sells something or takes a piece of what is needed in any given life cycle.

As a business, you don’t have to create a complete infrastructure to perform every part of the chain. We collaborate and co-create our success by bringing in others who have developed an expertise for a portion of the process (e.g., using others for their business models).  The days of the mega company may very well be over. You may still have companies who gobble up others through acquisition to create a mega company, but you don’t have many companies investing in their own massive internal infrastructure development anymore. Instead, they partner and acquire entire divisions and pieces of the whole.

It is interesting when you think of what “organic” really means. Nothing grows without reliance outside itself.  In the most basic sense of organic, plants rely on everything around them to grow and thrive.
Soil, water, sun and nearby plants and animals all are integral to a plant’s survival and “thrival” (yes, I just made up a new word…“thrive” needs a noun just like “survive”’s “survival”). This reliance outside itself must be true in business as well. Maybe we’ve had the definition of organic growth all wrong….

Maybe co-creating and collaborating is the new organic growth….


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