“Stop, collaborate and listen” said Oliver Hurrey, Managing Director of Market Engagement at 2degrees, an Oxford, UK based collaboration outfit hosting last week’s Supply Chain Summit.
Capturing our attention with the Vanilla Ice reference, Oliver proceeded to share with the audience of nearly 150 supply chain and sustainability experts from the world’s largest companies, why he, like so many others, thinks we should be talking more about collaboration. “We are better at competing than we are at collaborating” said Hurrey. Going at it alone is no longer standard practice. Pre-competitive collaboration and partnerships within value chains is the new status quo.
Given some of today’s complex challenges, like engaging youth, building circular economy efficiencies and leading on environmental and social issues, companies are unable to make a higher level of impact without partnering. Presentations during the event by Unilever, Diageo, Coca-Cola Enterprises, GSK, Ecover and others pointed to sustainability wins gained by finding the right partners in their various supply chains, as well as being honest about what was achievable alone versus with the help of others.
Amplifying the dialogue was the launch of something new for 2degrees, and for collaboration as a practice. Released last week was the 2degrees Global Collaboration Map, an online tool that will allow any organization to understand (1) who is working on what, where and (2) what needs still exist to improve environmental, economic and social impact globally. Finally we will be able to target new partners and identify opportunities for engagement clearly and systematically.
This development is very much needed. I have had many conversations with clients trying to determine where to invest valuable resources in regions that are critical to their business, but may already be swarming with investment. Rather than add another layer of complexity to existing programs, with the clarity born from a Global Collaboration Map, companies, NGOs and other investors can make sensible decisions about where resources are most needed, which partners are worth targeting for collaboration and where it’s best to defer the investment to others. The potential for the Collaboration Map to improve the effectiveness (and efficiency!) of collaboration is exciting for Connective Impact since our mission is to make partnerships and collaboration easier and more impactful. There is more to come from 2degrees in the months ahead and I look forward to taking part.
WHAT CONNECTIONS CAN WE MAKE TODAY?
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