More and more we're seeing innovative applications for technologies that have either been around for a while or were developed for a different purpose. Advanced technologies that once seemed to only apply to the military or NASA are now an integral part of our daily lives.
Across the world, nano cameras are monitoring nannies, GPS is sharing Facebook users' lunch locations, and crowdsourcing is finding Waze users the quickest way home.
The technology for the next big thing is out there. The question is, just how are we going to make that idea a reality?
Unlikely business collaboration is what's going to start driving innovation. True visionaries will begin to see that the resources at their disposal grow immensely once they look outside of their office. The right partnership means new perspectives and varied skill sets that can make almost any idea happen. When it comes to the future of innovation, ideas, data, workspaces, and even human services are going to become shareable.
Here are three reasons business collaboration will -- and should -- become the new way to innovate:
1. It leads to shared skill sets.
No company does everything perfectly. You might have the tech, but not the product development team to bring your idea to life. Collaboration with another company provides both sides with a wider set of resources and skill sets to draw from. And partnering with an organization from a different industry or background creates an even bigger toolbox.
Consider how many employers are having trouble finding employees with the skills they need. In a 2015 survey by Manpower Group, 32 percent of American companies reported having trouble filling positions. Jobs are starting to require more creativity and problem-solving skills as simple jobs are being automated. Instead of spending time and money trying to poach each other's skilled employees, collaboration allows all parties to benefit from a collective set of talents.
With easy access to a larger talent pool of skilled employees via company collaboration, we open up to new perspectives and gain access to highly specialized talent JUST when we need it. Organizations, big or small, are going to need to collaborate to innovate in the future.
2. Business collaboration is easier than ever.
Thanks to cloud storage and digital communication, collaboration between businesses is incredibly simple. Location no longer limits options when it comes to choosing a collaboration partner.
Brainstorming sessions can be held from opposites sides of the globe, and product designs can be accessed from multiple timezones. In theory, with enough collaborative partners, a project could be worked on 24 hours a day without anyone missing a good night's sleep.
But the ease of collaboration is already developing beyond simple data and communication sharing via the cloud. The spaces where we do work are also becoming shared spaces opening more doors to co-creating. Collaborative spaces are popping around the world where companies can use the shared resources the need without ever having to worry about finding a fixed individual location for their operations.
It's time to think of workspaces not just as physical places. At Coplex, we created a virtual environment where our team can collaborate with clients. Through these services, customers have access to skills, resources, and collaborative partners. With this co-creation process we are able to work together with our customers to more quickly build and iterate our applications.
And to take things one step further, what is the freelancing network really but the clouding of skilled workers that companies can draw upon to when needed. Just as an organization can access whatever document they need whenever, wherever, freelancers allow companies to augment their teams and access skills that were not readily at their disposal.
3. It gives startups more stability.
The road to innovation is lined with great ideas that startups couldn't make work on their own. A 2014 survey by CB Insights created a list of the most common reasons startups fail. In the top 20 were not having the right team and not properly using advisors.
Through business collaboration, startups can find greater support and stability while getting their idea off the ground. More established organizations can help startups avoid common mistakes that keep them from being successful. Depending on the type of relationship each side decides on, larger companies can also help finance the idea.
Gone are the days where innovators felt they needed to keep their great idea a secret to keep it from getting stolen by a competitor. Collaboration -- not competition -- is the heart of innovation. Partnering with other companies is what will make innovative ideas become successful realities in the future.
What other reasons are there to enter a business collaboration in order to be innovative? Share in the comments below!