The Collaborative Business Spectrum is an overview of the ways organizations can work together to achieve a result they can not achieve alone. It ranges from transactions on the left side, to highly integrated ways of working on the right side. Read this article for a more in-depth explanation.
The slide within the spectrum always leads to an eye-opener in the Alliance Masterclass, which is exactly why I use it. The purpose is to have the participant think about alliances and other forms of partnerships. Too often we assume that another person will have the same perception as we have of the meaning of a term. The Collaborative Business Spectrum makes people realize that there are more ways of working together than just the one they are accustomed to.
The slide is also always good for some discussion. For instance, a discussion about the fact that Mergers & Acquisitions should not be on the far right side. People feel that these so-called M&A activities are not collaborative at all. Maybe they are right, maybe not. Anyway, when they discuss that, using the slide reaches its purpose: they think deeper about the several forms of business collaborations.
Collaborative Business Spectrum 2.0?
A recent article by HBR made me think about the Collaborative Business Spectrum again and I wonder if it is time for a version 2.0. Well, it is definitely time to add some elements to the discussion about the slide.
This HBR article comes from an M&A background and discusses the fact that traditional Mergers & Acquisitions become less important. It shows that over the past 20 years, Alliances and Joint Ventures have become more successful. Additionally, the article argues that future growth paths will consist of a mixture of alliances, joint ventures and mergers, and acquisitions. Organizations will become constellations of entities working together in different formats.
I like that. There is no black and white answer for future growth paths. Sometimes you will acquire and integrate a company, sometimes you will simply do a transaction, and sometimes you will team up in an alliance with a partner. The best solution for your company will depend on your strategy and many other factors. Altogether your organization will thrive on a constellation of companies and organizations working together.