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5 Reasons Why Your Company Should Collaborate to Solve Problems

Bill Bader
by Bill Bader on March 31, 2016 10:00:00 AM EDT

Your organization works diligently to achieve one overarching goal: solve your customers’ problems. Solving your customers’ problems allows your organization to grow and build demand for new products. In many traditional organizations, the way to solve these problems, or innovate, was by researching and developing secretly in order to beat competitors to market and reap the benefits singularly. The problem with doing things this way is that your organization assumes all costs and risks associated with problem solving. This limits your organization’s capabilities to solve future problems and ultimately, diminishes the size and number of opportunities for total industry advancement.

collaborative-problem-solving.jpgSo what’s the key to shifting your work method to reach the maximum benefits? Collaboration. Here are five reasons why your organization should be collaborating with other industry partners to solve problems:

Share the resources and risks.

Collaborative problem solving allows your organization and those you partner with to share resources and risks. By collaborating with partners, you have the ability to minimize staffing required to solve the problem at hand and spread costs across multiple parties, which means that your organization will save financially. For example, joining an association to bring industry partners together allows you to leverage your resources up to 20 times more effectively than problem solving alone. Additionally, sharing resources implies that no one organization will absorb the risk should the initiative not succeed.

Create higher value for customers.

Pooling resources and expertise expands the opportunities available for your organization to work on. With more background and industry knowledge, your collaborative efforts can help drive influential or industry-standard products. This ultimately leads to the industry competing with higher quality products for consumers. It also allows your organization to accelerate resolution and ensures technology readiness when your business requires it, ultimately making you more flexible.

Enhance expertise and opportunities.

Your organization is already full of industry experts, but there’s always more to be learned. Partnering with other industry leaders can help magnify your organization’s own internal expertise and skills. It also enhances the understanding of industry direction and the competitive landscape. This helps your organization strategically plan for and exploit new business opportunities.

Build valuable sustained partnerships.

Collaborating with additional industry leaders to solve problems enables your organization to build valuable long-term partnerships with those you may not have otherwise. Becoming a part of a collaborative network allows you access to new suppliers, key customers, and even competitors. These partnerships give your organization advantage in the long-term by streamlining processes, saving resources, and enhancing brand image.

Further industry advancements.

On a macro level, participation in collaborative problem solving helps to further advance the industry in which you operate by driving technology development across the global supply chain, creating a more competitive landscape, and more. Partnering with leading experts can also help influence the course of innovation and increase research funding to perpetuate industry advancements. Ultimately, more opportunities are bred from collaborative problem solving.

While it may seem counterintuitive to partner with organizations competing for attention in the same industry, your organization can benefit deeply by participating in collaborative problem solving. This activity creates higher value for all stakeholders by creating a healthy competitive landscape, shared responsibility, and collective knowledge which perpetuates innovation and industry success. Your organization can start collaborating with other industry leaders by joining industry associations like iNEMI and working on core projects relevant to your strategy, that require an industry-wide solution. To learn more about how you can get started with iNEMI, please contact us.

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Bill Bader
Written by Bill Bader
Bill Bader was CEO of iNEMI from 2009 through 2017. He came to iNEMI after 26 years with Intel Corporation, bringing a wide range of experience, including factory management for high-volume production, new product development, hardware and software design and test, and assembly and test technology development. He also served as Intel’s representative on the iNEMI Technical Committee from 1998 to 2005.

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