Collaborative consumption, Sharing Economy, the Maker movement… All these important increasing economic, social and business trends show companies and organizations experimenting success by delivering more value for less by not acting on their own but involving a number of external stakeholders, including the users, in co-creating solutions. This new type of economy, of course, needs a new approach to many different mindsets and behaviors that have been considered “the norm” for centuries…
A recent article by Peter Hesseldahl highlights some of the different “rules” to be changed when acting “Co-“:
Product vs. Process. Do not focus so much in the product or service but in creating platforms and processes that enable a wide set of actors to participate. Focus on platforms and processes, because this is where you can create value for users. From a design perspective, this means that focus moves from designing finished products, to designing tools that allow customers to participate and contribute to creating a solution.
New styles of management needed. Consumers becoming participants and co-creators ends with the strict division of roles and responsibilities between providers and users. This in turn has implications for styles of management. Be ready as a company to lose control of process and outcome. The company can influence, but not control, and leadership becomes a matter of motivating others by the strength of your vision.
Expert knowledge plays a secondary role. Whether as a company or as a person, this new context requires a rethinking of how you see yourself contributing value. In the co-creation paradigm, being an expert is not about knowing all the facts or being able to come up with solutions yourself. Rather, expertise can be in enabling the solution to emerge, by bringing together the right people and resources.
It’s Not All Just About Money anymore. Users and volunteers can contribute to your processes but for other motivations different from the one most companies are used to deal with, money. It’s important to consider that values as recognition, fun or social interaction can be as important as money in making the interaction work productively.
From Me-thinking to We-Thinking. We-Thinking is about realizing that our fate is shared. That means paying much more attention to values as trust and transparency, implementing the proper collaboration tools or new ways of sharing ownership and benefits.