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19 Oct 2023

The collaboration advantage: A new frontier for competitive businesses

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and businesses are having to dig deep right now. Whether it’s big businesses like FANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) or start-ups – we’re seeing the business economic model in full swing. Lay people off, put more pressure on those staff that remain because of squeezed costs and paddle as hard as you can to keep your head above water.

As the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved, so why aren’t we tackling more of these challenges collaboratively? Collaboration is nothing new, but when we think about it within a business context, it’s often talked about as a people strategy – how do we get people to work better together to improve our outcomes?

So how can we work better together as businesses to do the same, especially within SMEs? If we look at this cross-sector – retail, FMCG, technology etc – there will be thousands of businesses investing money in the same things, whether it’s R&D, resource, product innovation, supply chain, marketing, national/international expansion, or business process.

Change the narrative

We need to encourage collaborative discussions to happen and change our language. Often when businesses meet, it’s one selling to the other, rather than enhancing the narrative of how can we help and elevate each other.

If we look at the way we physically work these days, with so many more shared offices, there’s never been more of an opportunity to collaborate. According to Statista, the volume of flexible office workspace in the United Kingdom is expected to have nearly doubled between 2019 and 2023, reaching 167 million square feet in 2023.

However, if you walk into a WeWork, TOG or similar managed building, I wonder how many businesses are collaborating rather than just sharing a physical space? We need to be bold and brave – if you don’t ask, you don’t create opportunities and facilitate a group culture that goes out and gets.

To read the published article written by Dan Todaro, Managing Director please visit Business Leader

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