What are the two must-have skills that every organization needs today?
Covid-19 has raised the need for co-creation — an essential business approach that consists of shared innovating and caring.
At the very beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, Medtronic - the world’s leading med-tech manufacturer, publicly revealed the specs of its excellent PB 560 respirator, so that competing manufacturers could quickly create more respirators to meet the growing global demand. Medtronic is only one of various examples of companies that shared their knowledge out of generosity and solidarity, to help doctors and patients worldwide. And while this sharing-is-caring mode emerged as result of a global crisis, it originated much earlier, back in the day when Corona was no more than a Mexican beer.
Once upon a change
For the past two decades we’ve been living in a world of disruption that has made us accustomed to exponential change. The digital revolution redefined technologies, services and communication and made it possible to access and share information in a click. This paved the way for a change in human consciousness; the way people see themselves, their place in the world and how they can achieve their calling and meet their full potential. Organizations that realized this mindset shift successfully leveraged it into profit and growth.
A new age of co-creation
When Covid-19 emerged, it demanded further revolutionizing of basic assumptions on strategy, competition, management, human capital, and communities. It also required two must-have skills that are crucial for organizational success in uncertain times:
- Entrepreneurial thinking: This includes creativity, boldness, agility, and the ability for rapid change, not only in tech but in all organizational aspects and processes.
- Togetherness: This mindset includes sharing, compassion, and mutual help, while taking into consideration the organization’s human capital, the community and ecological awareness.
While the first skill helps organizations to reduce costs and conduct effective business, the second skill helps them to differentiate themselves and redefine their collective unique added value. These two skills combined are the fundamental components of the new age of co-creation - amuch needed organizational approach which is good for both people and business results.
Co-creating with customers
The best place to start co-creating is with your customers. A 2017 survey by Hitachi Europe’s reported that 58% of the companies have been performing co-creation processes with customers and other stakeholders. Among them, 51% improved their sales, and 54% improved their social impact. Here are two inspiring examples:
- LEGO: In 2004, during a financial crisis, Lego created Lego Ideas - a platform that invited customers to share their ideas for new products. Lego received over one million ideas (!), that were uploaded to the website. The winning ideas were later transformed into new products, and the winners - regardless of age, received a generous financial reward and full name recognition in all products, marketing materials and sales contracts. Not only did this co-creation project save Lego from financial crisis: it resulted in launching 23 new products, a boost in sales and brand strength, and strong relationships with customers and the community at large.
- DHL: During the past decade, DHL - aleading global logistics and shipping company - launched three innovation centers in Germany, Singapore, and Chicago, and held nearly 10,000 innovation workshops with its customers. These workshops resulted in two great inventions: the Parcelcopter Drone, and VR glasses, which improved packaging and shipping efficiency by 25%. Both these co-creations resulted in high user satisfaction and a significant increase in customer retention rates.
The greater good principle
In face of current global challenges, organizations should reexamine the term ‘customer’, especially considering the impact of community outreach on marketing, branding and more. Customers are much more than human wallets; they’re active partners that can help organizations tell their story.
To strengthen co-creation, other business terms such as competition, market-share and delivery should also be reexamined and transformed into updated business plans. Excessive ego should also be replaced with genuine passion for shared creativity and purpose between organizations, their people, and their communities. Understanding the greater good principle will make way for positive change, which, in face of these disruptive times, is greatly needed.
Ronen Gafni - Business Philosopher, Game Creator, TEDx speaker, CEO at FreshBiz and Author of ‘The New Entrepreneurz’