Collaboration – between different teams within an organisation, or with other enterprises or non-commercial institutions – has far-reaching benefits for businesses.
While an emphasis on competition over cooperation is sometimes seen as “survival of the fittest”, it may surprise many business leaders to learn that Charles Darwin’s work, The Descent of Man, referred to “the survival of the fittest” only twice. Yet, he wrote of mutuality and mutual aid 24 times.
When it comes to mutuality, savvy organisations are changing how works gets done, and they’re reaping the benefits. Innovation, performance, culture and the bottom line are all improved when collaboration is embraced.
Internal team collaboration: mixing it up makes sense
Embracing the collaborative spirit and empowering employees to work in more flexible, collaborative ways businesses are better able to compete with larger or nimbler peers:
- Employees are aligned to a common vision.
- Communication is improved and trust is fostered between teams and groups.
- Talent is used more effectively. Freed from responsibility for entire tasks, employees contribute in line with their strengths.
- Fresh thinking is stimulated as innovation is encouraged.
- Internal barriers are broken down and turf wars are less common.
- Whole team learning is facilitated.
A recent report on the topic by Google for Work and Raconteur revealed that efficient ongoing collaboration delivers has a fundamental impact on business.
“ …making a major commitment to collaborative working and effective teamwork is a new challenge for many organisations. ”
It takes time to hone any new process or mode of working, but by reassessing the way we think about the notion of ‘work’ itself, the benefits of collaboration can be more easily realised1.
Collaboration with other companies: why smart businesses are doing it
When it comes to cross collaborating with other organisations, the benefits of IOCs (“inter-organisational collaborations”) are equally significant:
- Greater referrals are generated through networking.
- Joint innovation with external partners is fostered.
- Economies of scale are realised (e.g. jointly funded, more substantive R&D).
- Increased collaboration internationally brings exposure to new markets.
- A corporate sustainable environment is promoted.2
“Collaboration has far-reaching benefits for companies, producing organisations that are filled with employees who are self-aware, aligned, role focused, able to stimulate fresh thinking and encourage innovation, and are re-energised, lifting the company to new heights,” says William Buist CEO of Abelard, a leading UK collaborative consultancy. “Business leaders who have ever doubted the potential benefits they could receive from encouraging collaboration should put to rest any fears and find ways to implement this strategy now”, he said.
In August 2016, AGL was excited to announce to the market a hugely significant business collaboration between the company, ARENA, and Sunverge to launch the world’s largest virtual power plant (VPP) in South Australia. These kind of partnership and collaborations can drive meaningful change in the short term and help to revolutionise industries.
For consumers interested in more information about VPP or to register interest to be one of the first 150 to get a battery, visit agl.com.au/powerinnumbers or call 1300 447 465.
1 Working Better Together study conducted by Raconteur and Google for Work, published October 2015. Raconteur.net
2 William Buist, CEO of Abelard and Founder of xTEN Club