Collaboration: a win-win for all of us
“If you want to go fast, walk alone; but if you want to go far, walk with company.”
- African proverb
Translated from Spanish.
Lee este post en su idioma original, español.
ImasD is a design and strategy studio based in Medellín, Colombia, recognized for its work with brands that adapt to change. Today we continue with the fourth part in our collaboration with the Colombian design studio, which is contributed by Daniel Moreno, leader of strategy at imasD. Daniel is motivated by consistency in brands and has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, brand positioning, and communication strategies. grupoimasd.com
As individuals and organizations we share interests and challenges. Collaboration allows us to make the most of who we are and what we have at our disposal. If this makes so much sense in theory, why is it so difficult in practice?
Our surroundings represent challenges and paradigm shifts in how we interact, eat, our consumption habits, the way we do business, our work environments, etc. Today, collaboration is not only seen as a willingness to help others, but as a way of creating systems through which we can all benefit economically.
We know that to be productive, a plane must be in the air, not on the ground. Most cars are used just 20% of the day— the other 80% of the time they are parked. Many houses are left abandoned all day, their rooms filling with dust. The same is true of ideas, a resource that we often keep to ourselves for fear of being ridiculed or copied, thereby missing out on plenty of opportunities to improve and transform them.
The central idea of the sharing economy is to maximize the efficiency of resources. We use what we have and make it available to others— this includes goods, services and even ideas.
Thanks to this model, we have seen the development and success of projects like Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Unsplash, Kickstarter and Rappi. All these initiatives have collaboration in their DNA.
How far can we go?
Collaboration has become an essential element in other aspects of our lives, too. Work environments have given way to new models of corporate culture in which people depend on each other. The desire to compete against each other has, in some corporate cultures, altogether disappeared, and employees have started to work together towards common objectives, using their talents and capacities together.
Organizations are also beginning to find opportunities to collaborate with others. If we have challenges in common, why not solve them together? This represents an opportunity to optimize resources and grow together.
This collaboration radically changes the way we share and generate knowledge, what we do in our leisure time and the reasons that motivate us to make a purchase or choose a brand. Even large corporations have started to feel threatened when they realize the conversation is not directed by them. Today, it is the individuals who decide where the conversation goes, what we listen to and what we consume. We have skipped conventional consumer channels and created a culture that does not necessarily depend on traditional corporate channels. Collaborative models have "freed" us from traditional consumerism and empowered user communities.
The common good has even driven leaders like Elon Musk to release Tesla's 200 patents in an effort to combat climate change and put all his know-how in the hands of anyone who wants to work for this cause. Following suit are big names like Ford and Toyota, who have released patents on their processes and developments in electric mobility.
Now, what motivates these companies and people to share their great secrets and why is this considered a strategic act?
Collaboration is based on trust, not only in others, but also in ourselves. We must be able to create a circle of allies, partners, friends, that allow us to generate a sense of community. Today, networks allow us to establish ties with people anywhere in the world and most platforms grow thanks to the dynamism of these interactions.
Additionally, it is essential to have a sense of confidence in ourselves and in our organizations. This involves the people who are part of our teams and the way we take on the challenges every day— with empowerment and security.
At the core of our actions, there must always be a sense of purpose. Being clear about our role in this world and what motivates us every day is the first step to a coherent and consistent strategy. We attract people and organizations that share our sense of purpose and vision.
In short, purpose marks our path, the actions we carry out and what motivates our growth as individuals and as organizations. Trust leads us to share this purpose with others and build it with them, delivering our best self and our best sense of purpose.
At imasD we work every day to elevate design as a transformation tool. We work with brands to find their purpose and always act in alignment with their identity. And, we know that in order to do this, we must find great allies and open ourselves to sharing more of our experiences and learning from those around us.
The true competence of an organization is not based on what it does or how it does it. Today, in a world that is without barriers and is open to collaboration, we find the true potential in clear and shared purposes, in the sum of skills and knowledge.
Collaboration always puts us in a better place, we should think of it as as a new lifestyle in which the common interest prevails, sharing what we have and building a more balanced and conscious world together.