Collaborative business models represent a big strategic challenge for any business.
Relations with suppliers, subcontractors and freelancers, sales network, customers, followers on online social networks or even with external innovators are becoming very complex.
In recent years, internal and relatively independent business functions have become intertwined with the outside world deleting the boundaries between the internal and external environment of an organization and between individual business functions or areas of expertise. The more we interact with the outside world of the organization, the more competitive we are in comparison with those who have not yet introduced these collaborative models into their business practices. Of course, only if we are able to integrate such complex and diverse relationships into our business model and lead them in a way to contribute to the development of our business system in the long run. Companies and organizations which are aware of the potential of those intertwined and complex relationships, they have begun to develop the so-called business ecosystems, where individual internal and external relationships, business functions and processes are no longer separated but interconnected and interdependent.
Modern digital tools can help us to build and manage a business ecosystem much easier. However, questions on how to collaborate between a traditional sales network and digital sales channels, internal world of an organization and external innovators and freelancers, internal and external information sources, internal and external business software solutions etc. cannot be solved without a well planned partnership strategy and without very well managed collaborative relationships.
The importance and necessity of well managed collaborative relationships is proven also by the internationally adopted ISO 44001: 2017 standard, which is intended precisely for the management of collaborative business relationships.
At WOTRA, we have been developing training, guidance and counseling for a variety of collaborative business relationships and their management for many years. As an example, I would like to cite the relationships between the principal, agents and distributors, or the ecosystem building of a modern online store.
Contact the author of this article for more information and support during your process of dealing with collaborative relationships and your business ecosystem.