Collaborate: The Art of We
February 2012, Jossey-Bass
The 21st Century's counterpart to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Dan Sanker's Collaborate: The Art of We gives a new generation of pioneering business enthusiasts a practical guide to capture tomorrow's opportunities. Globalization, technological advances, and cultural changes have opened the door for a new winning formula that combines traditional competition with contemporary collaborative business practices. Readers will change their mindsets and learn practical tools to tap into talent, overcome organizational obstacles, and create dramatic incremental value by collaborating between organizations.
While most businesses are battling it out for crumbs of market share, the author gives inside examples of emerging leaders who are staking claim to larger pieces of the economic pie. Intellectual honesty and proof-of-concept permeate throughout; even the book's own foreword was entrusted to a collaborative group of over 35 individual participants, a first of its kind and one more concrete example of the power of collaboration.
Sanker provides a comprehensive guide to collaboration from conception to implementation and analysis. He brings collaboration to life by:
- Exploring the opportunities created by dynamic online social tools being used by winning leaders
- Delving into examples from a plethora of traditional companies like Disney and McDonald's
Inviting readers behind the curtains to see the inner workings of collaborative emerging growth companies like CaseStack, the author’s company
1 What Collaboration Is and Isn't 1
2 Dawn of the Knowledge-Based Collaborative Era 17
3 The Collaboration Payoff 37
4 Risks of Collaboration 59
5 Collaboration Essentials 73
6 Stages of Collaboration 89
7 Setting Up for Success 107
8 Strategies for a Successful Collaboration 121
9 The Role of Technology and Social Media in Collaboration 137
10 Fostering a Collaborative Culture in Your Organization 151
About the Author 179
New trends in technology (cloud computing) and business (outsourcing) in just the last few years have opened some brand new ways businesses can operate. One of them: collaboration with customers and often competitors, promises to yield a whole new way of doing business that opens up potentially many new opportunities. Ironically, in order to remain "competitive" companies will have to become more collaborative.
Collaborate: The Art of We (Jossey-Bass; 978-1-118-11472-8; e-book available; February 2012) by Dan Sanker shows how others can successfully pool resources and competencies, develop new innovative products and services, access new markets, and reduce costs through collaboration. It explores the tools that facilitate the collaborative process, particularly new online tools that have revolutionized the process, and the outsourcing boom. Case examples illustrate both large-scale (e.g. Disney and McDonald's partnering with Happy Meals) and small-scale collaborations that have succeeded in the real world.
Collaboration is not a new concept, but globalization and new technologies have turned it into one of the best methods of competitive advantage available. Rather than engaging in an endless tug-of-war over the dwindling crumbs in a finite market, collaborative companies find ways to make the pie bigger, or create whole new pies, expanding everyone's market and revenue. By collaborating, companies can tap into talent sources beyond their means, overcome organizational weaknesses cheaply by combining capabilities, eliminate waste and overhead by sharing resources, and better engage their markets by providing a more comprehensive and integrated array of products and services.
The author's company, CaseStack, is a model of collaboration. It's a full-service logistics company that offers warehousing, transportation and an award-winning tech platform, without owning any actual warehouse buildings or trucks, and using cloud-based hardware. Many of its key business partners could easily be construed as competitors, and its most important service platforms have been developed with retailers who aren't customers, vendors, or even partners, in a legal sense. Yet by sharing strengths, all have seen greater profits while cutting costs and improving service.
Collaborate is a proven strategy that shows how to create business opportunities where none existed by working with customers and competitors.