In the transformative age, companies have a better chance of competing if they share resources and ideas with other organizations.
No single person or organization can ever have of all the answers. That truism is even more apparent in this transformative age when rapid change is increasing the complexity of the challenges that we face. New opportunities and threats are emerging on a daily basis, while old ones are re-emerging in unexpected ways. All of this – combined with the explosion in emerging technologies – underlines the need for a collaborative approach to decision-making. Among companies, among industries and particularly among countries.
In an environment of rapid change and limited resource, working with partners to collaborate where each brings ideas, resources, and intellectual power to the table is a necessity. However, effective collaboration is not easy to achieve. It relies on commitment, fairness, flexibility, trust, adequate resources, common goals, open communication, shared values, and a deep understanding of what each party is bringing to the relationship. If any of these components are
or missing altogether, the ecosystem in which collaboration can thrive quickly falls apart.
Undoubtedly, the relative fragility of collaboration makes it a risky process to embark on but successful collaboration can bring substantial benefits to all parties – benefits that they would struggle to secure if they worked alone.
Smart cities are a great example. With the global urban population set to increase by about 2.5 billion people by 2050, such unprecedented levels of urbanization will require the integration of information, communication technologies and the active involvement of citizens improve both the quality of government services and citizen welfare.
Working together, governments, businesses, and entrepreneurs can help cities meet the needs of their growing populations. The Amsterdam Smart City initiative is one such case where the power of real-time data, connected devices and the Internet of Things has been harnessed to reduce traffic pollution, enable better recycling programs, provide greater precision in energy usage and even reduce crime. Collectively, political leaders, private industry, consultants and citizens have come together and used data analytics to improve urban life and to develop a more sustainable community.
The health care industry is another example where organizations are considering how to participate in emerging platforms of care that seamlessly collect, combine and share a variety of health data in real time. To succeed, they must form agile partnerships and collaborations with a range of stakeholders, including payers, care providers, policy makers and technology, retail and digital companies.
Last year a multinational internet technology company and a consumer fitness electronics company announced an alliance to provide patients and clinicians with a more comprehensive view of the patient profile by connecting user data with electronic medical records. Artificial intelligence, machine learning capabilities and predictive analytic algorithms will help bring more meaningful data and insights to consumers and clinicians to help achieve more personalized care and better health outcomes.
EY prides itself at being at the centre of collaboration and bringing different parties together to build a better working world. Through one of its alliance partners EY is offering digital solutions to help farm suppliers, farmers and food processors create efficiencies and business opportunities across the agricultural value chain. We are using predictive analytics and machine learning to optimize marine operations in the port of Singapore. And we’re using blockchain with organizations from farmers, wine makers to insurers, to help them meet growing demand for authenticity and accountability, and ultimately greater trust, in the products and services that people are buying.
While competition can certainly stimulate innovation, the role of collaboration can also bring exceptional results. That’s because of the way that it brings different parties, different tools and different thinking together in pursuit of a common purpose.
What’s possible in the Transformative Age? Join EY to discuss this and all the pressing economic and social issues as we look to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 – from 22-25 January. Join the debate via ey.com/wef and using #WEF19 and #BetterWorkingWorld.