External engagement- why it is important to take your brand beyond traditional business boundaries

Louise Kelly Founder Thought Leaders Circle talks about externally engaged brands

Louise Kelly Founder Thought Leaders Circle talks about externally engaged brands

We are moving into a world based on ecosystems, where machines talk to each other, and the information world of one business moves like cogs of a machine working with the information world of other businesses.

Collaboration has become so much more than human teamwork, it is now about value proposition and system design, allowing two distinct businesses to work as one. You can follow the growing trend of business interest in ecosystems by tracking the huge spikes in Google searches since 2012.

Partnerships like Pixer and Apple, are success stories, where content is both driving device sales and device sales drive content sales. Now we are standing on the edge of a major disruption in healthcare, where mobile apps and miniature devices deliver what was once only the domain of hospitals in our home. Many analysts predict this to be the biggest disruption of our lifetime. All delivered through interfacing ecosystems and the willing collaboration of business.

In order to capitalise on the new order of business ecosystems, our brand promise needs to push past traditional business boundaries, into an increased level of openness and connectedness.

We now need to ask, how do we enrich the promise of another brand, and how can they enrich ours?

We also need to develop our preparedness.

We need to consider how can our business work with another business to create a greater opportunity… and how can we use external engagement to make this possible?

Here are some qualities we believe will drive success in the age of collaboration and ecosystems:

Stay curious… It often only takes six to twelve months for a new employee to be institutionalised, once their external knowledge is operationalized, they are entrenched in insider thinking. In six months the business world and competitive advantage can take some sharp turns. It is only by taking an active interest in outside activities, can we keep fresh and current. Insider thinking, left to its own devices can quickly become a liability.

Build networks with prospective collaborators…. Regular and scheduled catch ups provide ongoing dialogue which is the foundation for collaboration. If you want to be opportunity ready to collaborate with another organisation, keep the conversation going.

Share the cost of parity, non differentiating services with your competitors…. The big banks in Australia and Aged Care Providers reduce the cost of operations by sharing in development costs. We can all do this. If a function of your operation is non differentiating, outsource it or co develop it with your competitor.

Sharing information with competitors can reduce the risk of business and fast track opportunities. Find a competitor who understands the art of reciprocity and watch your business take off when you start sharing information.

To take your brand beyond your business boundaries follow these 3 simple rules:
Stay curious,
keep the conversation with those you want to collaborate with and
share with your competitors.

Louise Kelly

Thought Leaders Circle

Managing Director
Hearts and Minds

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