The act of cooperating: to participate to a job, a production together with others; that work that is done by those who collaborate, and the result of this work.
Too often the noun “collaboration” is used together with the adjective “subordinate”. According a lot of people, collaboration means: “I give you orders, I decide timing and payment, and you just have to do what I want, that’s all”.
This is a point of viewing team work, and it is surely a leitmotiv of a certain way to make business. If a businessman exacerbates this concept, he will probably get to say “I won’t pay my suppliers, nor my employees. I can also go bankrupt, and close my business, never mind: I earned my bread and nobody will ever be able to take it away.”
Which kind of entrepreneur is this, a cooperator… or a predator?
When companies and entrepreneurs think this way, they cannot have a long-lasting perspective for their business. It is possible that their behaviour actually gives them some benefits, but these experiences do not have a future, they are suffocating.
We have a different idea: we think that collaboration means to work together in order to achieve a specific goal sharing the result (maybe in proportion to everyone’s engage and risk, or according to another rule that the team decided).
In the first case, “subordinate collaboration”, efficiency is easy to achieve with exasperate bargaining (i.e. you do not supply certain services), but the result is always limited because of the modest space for manoeuvre: everyone already got his best efficiency on his own (actually it isn’t so, but let’s pretend it is).
Nobody invests nothing (brilliant!), everybody stresses his suppliers and employees, and the game is done.
But is it a winning game? It can seem so, but it is a lie.
In fact, who wins? Who is the winner?
The winner is who really collaborates, who is altruist and makes all his business partners get ready for, in turn, being efficient: that helps creating an efficient work chain, in which every member is able to invest in studying and in digitizing processes not only for itself, but for all the team.
About digitalization, there are wide spaces, we can call them “undefined territories”, and they are waiting to be discovered and conquered. If you achieve efficiency together with all your work chain (i.e., your logistic chain), you and our partners will get benefits that a single predator couldn’t even dream. Even better: predators will run out of business while cooperators will easily acquire their client.
Why do we talk so much of digitize processes, of Industry 4.0? Because it is time to conquer those territories.