The Social Era Thrives Through Collaborative Advantage

by Mary Adams on 01/26/2013

I was talking the other day to John Dumay from the University of Sydney (John, by the way, is one of the best current academic writers in the IC space and the organizer of the What Works in IC? project in our community)

He’s a busy guy and one of his ancillary activities these days is helping his son launch a craft brewery.  John was sharing some of the lessons he has learned about social media as they have worked to get the word out about their beers.  He says that they are also finding it very helpful to collaborate with other small brewers.  The experience has made it clear to him how profound the shift in economic practices is…that markets are moving from competitive advantage to collaborative advantage as their guiding principle.

Collaborative Advantage. The phrase immediately resonated with me.  It is such a great and simple way of describing how value gets created today (and how we have organized Smarter-Companies).  In the Social Economy, value is created by sharing and re-mixing intangibles, knowledge and connections.  If a company views the outside world as full of competition and risk, you shut yourselves off from all the people that can help you build your market. The craft beer industry needs lots of beers, lots of choices for consumers.

There’s room for a lot of choices and a lot of stories (hence the use of social media).  The same thing is true in our market: there are lots of tools to help consultants and companies.  One or two isn’t good for any of us. We need lots of them.  We help ourselves by helping others in our market. By giving the market choices. And educating the market about the choices, better yet, having a continuous conversation about all of it. That’s why we will be offering other firms’ tools alongside our own.

Collaboration will also drive the innovation that so many organizations are striving for, to find new ways to create and deliver value for their customers. By talking and sharing and co-creating, we are guaranteeing future innovations and new business opportunities.

Collaborative Advantage. Join us to build this new kind of market at Smarter-Companies.

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