Collaboration and Innovation

Technology alone is not deemed enough for innovation. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in 2019 saw the industry giants single out innovation as their top priority, surpassing the aspects of industrial competitiveness, customer experience and technological capabilities. Around 86% of the CEOs who attended the meeting, pointed out that collaboration is an extremely effective skill and it is the most crucial ingredient that can drive excellence in innovation.
As the world has stumbled upon the detrimental effects of climate change, which is largely a direct result of the industrial revolution and prolific consumption of natural reserves; innovation has been regarded as the key remedy to rebuild the economies. Essentially, the new-age innovations need to be eco-friendly and sustainable while fulfilling the fundamental requirements of the innovation themselves. Thus it is imperative that collaborative efforts between innovating bodies can lead to more sustainable results by curbing unreasonable consumption while expanding eco-friendly practices and processes.
With significant mismatch in trade-offs between higher consumption patterns and lower resources availability, the need for building innovative solutions to overcome the underlying challenges has never been so relevant. Optimization of natural resources appears to be an imminent solution to maintain harmony between the available resources and our consumption patterns. Optimization is plausible with the implementation of innovative solutions, wherein building innovative solutions require collaborations between people or/and firms. The world needs ‘collaborations’ especially in times when the traditionally course of doing things does not seem to be workable for the planet any further.
Importance of B2B or B2C collaboration for innovative sustainable solutions :
Collaboration is regarded as the central theme of innovation. Collaboration might occur in various ways. Both B2B and B2C collaborative efforts are bearing fruits and the reasons are associated with the following:
Associations: With an increase in the number of people involved in sustainability practices, the result is evolving associations in different perspectives. The collaboration of Network Rails and Bio-Bean converting 700 tonnes of coffee waste into bio-fuel is a beautiful example of the same.
Speed: Performing all the steps alone can cause significant delays in production. Collaborative feedback speeds up the essential iterations which are necessary for the development of innovative solutions.
Connections: Successful innovation results from a ground-breaking idea and collaborations help generating such ideas by developing significant connections between interested stakeholders.
Energy: The energy and the strength of the team that develops as part of collaborations assist in overcoming any form of resistance and blockades that might be encountered while working towards a common goal.
Implementation: Innovation results in the implementation of a complete solution or idea by cultivating a proliferation of diversity in the group and letting competent individuals performing several combinations of good work.
Examples of impact-driven collaborations:
Floor manufacturer Interface is now working with recycling firm Shark Solutions to reach the zero negative environmental impact goals. It’s been a decade long journey for them and they are very near to reach their goals. Turning waste into carpets is what they are getting the limelight for.
The Crossrail project and the Royal society for the conservation of birds have started a new project wherein they would regenerate a salt marsh near Essex coast to create a new habitat for wildlife.
The wide-spread impacts of collaboration and the need for people to implement it :
It has been established that the collaborative approach is tremendously effective in building consensus, increases the levels of motivation and participation amongst individuals and bodies, pulling teams together, mentoring the nascent workforce on the impacts of sustainable development and etc. Similarly, collaboration leads to the development of a fertile space resulting in ground-breaking innovative outputs, which results in businesses, their employees, and the consumers to benefit significantly by involving in such practices.