Gaining Collaborative Advantage


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With organic and inorganic growths complexities in organizational structures result. Generally inorganic growth which is through mergers and acquisitions targets those companies or startups that have similar visions or ideas…Inter-organizational Collaboration on other hand is far more complicated as it involves 2 or more different organizations trying to arrive at a common goal which shall lead them into a strategic partnership when successful.

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Gaining Collaborative Advantage

  1. 1. 4/2/2012 iPOTT Getting you there… Gaining Collaborative Advantage We find this to be an extremely important topic and we haveCEO Speak covered it from Organizational and individual Project perspectives to highlight ways to achieve Collaborative Advantage.To visit this blog Click here. With organic and inorganic growths complexities in organizational structures result. Generally inorganic growthiPOTT being an end to end which is through mergers and acquisitions targets thoseprovider of innovative and cost companies or startups that have similar visions or ideas.effective services in the areas of However, the new company being integrated into parentknowledge management, sales company will still carry its own uniqueness or culturalenablement and consulting offers implication that demands adaptations from parent companya unique and unbiased platform to integrate those new processes into its culture whilefor software product companies symbiotically trying to integrate its own ideas into the newlyworldwide to reach their target merged or acquired Inter-organizational Collaboration on other hand is far more complicated as it involves 2 or more different organizations trying to arrive at a common goal which shall lead them into a strategic partnership when successful. This obviously is not ‘integration’ but adaptation to new policies laid out exclusively for Collaborations entered into to gain a Collaborative Advantage in long run. Such a theory assumes that the participating organizations have a common strategic goal. But in practice, this idea has failed in many organizations merely on grounds of the ‘idea gaining distortions and strains’ due to lack of common practices required to achieve or arrive at ‘Common Goals’. Is this a leadership issue, or a process implementation failure? How then can we identify the road to success in collaborative environments? To do this, participating organizations must identify players and stakeholders in their environment. Are
  2. 2. the agreement terms mutually beneficial, with load sharing?Who gets what? To gain collaborative advantage, a leadershipstyle has to be formulated that suits the emerging trends inlater stages. A Leader generally prefers being eitherTransformational or Transactional. Which style suitscollaboration needs?Imagine a Transformational leader trying to implement radicalprocesses which are highly energetic and aggressive towardsmarket share acquisitions. This is definitely not veryconstructive as Collaboration needs a ‘Softer and Democratic’approach. Here policies don’t have to be radical, butdelegative or transactional. One must understand that toarrive at an understanding to have a Collaboration aTransformational leader is required, but thereafter to pursuetasks that are already pre-defined in agreement the situationdemands a blend in leadership styles depending on who thePlayer is and whether his boundaries are clearly defined or notby setting his objectives or redefining Key Responsibility Areasto reflect new responsibilities. In particular, during initialstages of idea formulation and implementation space must becreated for mutual understanding between participatingorganizations at actors’ level.Where is the collaboration happening? Is it in one of theparticipating organizations premises? If yes, this is a slightlyrisky model as the other participants’ involvement maydiminish gradually if intervention points are not identified andagreed upon at initial stages, preferably at an agreementstage. The best means is to define ideas to be exchanged,boundaries for exchanges and points of interventions. This isat an Organizational level wherein major actors who areactually performing roles are recruited specifically from withinthe participating Organization to perform laid-out objectives.Recruiting laterally in later stages is left to individual projectrequirements and skill availability within organizations.Sometimes, sharing resources and people is necessary toleverage on skills across organizations.
  3. 3. Looking at the same from individual Project perspective,developing a Product or offering a Service involves stages andteams are divided to perform specific projects. While skills arebeing leveraged to achieve this objective employee identitybecomes an issue. Research indicates that this situation is bestresolved by associating identity of shared employee withcollaboration. Once this change is implemented at a HR level,he is no longer the organization’s employee, but acollaboration employee. Team behavior must be understoodand appropriate systems created to enhance productivity inworkplace.Size of organizations matter. With that Governance matters.Collaborations are unique. Structural changes mustincorporate Collaboration objectives in them, if not failuresare bound to happen. It is always recommended that adedicated HR service be implemented which involves teamcomprising of selected HR employees from all participatingorganizations chosen to perform as dedicated CollaborationHR employees whose competencies and Key responsibilityareas reflect the Collaboration objectives and not “individualOrganizational objectives”. This is critical to establishpriorities, build competencies in actors, and act as keyenablers of building Trust and Integrity, by advocating‘diversity in values’ and acting as ‘change agent’ inimplementing coalition skills required. They can also act as‘neutral channels’ for information sharing betweenparticipating organizations and act as mediators to reporthealth and well-being of the new partnership. They couldassist further in identifying possible areas of growth andtechnological adaptations required to improve resourceutilization.In case of Product development companies in India, suchcollaborations are becoming more common with large firmssuch as Intel, Cisco, Citrix and IBM formulating initiatives toincubate ideas. It is expected to grow further in future.
  4. 4. The next topic is “Economy in emerging markets and drivingfactors in software product development industry”. We will bediscussing about challenges that the industry faces and how tomitigate them. Subsequent issues will include discussions on“Formulating strategy to enable Software productdevelopment industries to grow and perpetuate”To subscribe to our other blogs follow the links belowGo Goal blog has been designed to discuss the Marketing &Sales Strategies for Software Product CompaniesTechnology Trends blog aims at providing Indian softwareproduct development industry growth trend, indicators, etc.Related content: 1. Globalization – Impact of Culture on organizations 2. HR TRENDS – Is it all for Good? 3. Note from the CEO on iPOTT Birthday 4. Software Selling Mistakes…being part of the crowd 5. The Topmost : Software selling mistake