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In 2015 Warwick Business School (WBS), The University of Warwick (UK)  carried out industry wide research on behalf of the Institute for Collaborative Working, “Benefits Realisation from Collaborative Working”. Benefits from collaboration were identified as:

  • Improved business and operational performance
  • Increased business winning
  • Enhanced risk management
  • Innovation
  • Multi-million pound efficiencies
  • Increased client confidence and repeat business
  • New product development

The study showed that a structured approach to collaboration boosts business and operational performance, and helps realise the anticipated benefits. WBS says, “this formalisation, however, refers to systematic adoption of collaborative working and does not entail strict job descriptions or penalties that counter collaborative behaviour”.

The study found that nearly 80 per cent of companies believe they will be spending more time on collaborations in the future. Organisations that were certified in a structured approach to collaboration had seen increased positive relationships. ISO 44001 (previously BS 11000) provides the opportunity for organisations to work with an internationally endorsed structured approach.

One New Zealand company who is successfully embedding collaboration within part of their business and across relationships, whilst working towards ISO 44001 certification, summarised benefits they have seen.

  • A structured approach will develop a collaborative culture within the business and relationships will continue over time and not be totally reliant as at present on personalities who operate with a strong focus on relationships.
  • An early focus on an exit strategy provides for very open discussion in a safe and positive way to identify aspects to be considered which allows the parties to actively manage these throughout the relationship.
  • Certification provides the confidence to the market that the processes and behaviours are in place and regularly monitored and reported on by an independent auditing party.
  • In ensuring there is Senior Executive support (at the top table) within the business supporting collaborative initiatives provides the focus, management and performance measurement across the business and within the specific relationships.

International trends show a structured approach to collaboration, evidence of collaborative processes and collaborative capabilities are emerging as an identified requirement for providers. Global experience with clients shows adopting a structured approach to collaboration will lead your organisation to becoming:

  • Provider of choice
  • Partner of choice
  • Client of choice
  • Employer of choice
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