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  • A new type of collaborative business model

    Organization models that are not based on power leadership and that focus on people and their emotions.

    A new type of collaborative business model

    The new collaborative business model is not a company, nor a cooperative, but combines features of both. This type of work involves more difficulty than working in teams. “Collaborative” professionals have to adapt themselves to work in flexible groups, in diverse environments, respond to common goals and contribute to increase the knowledge of the others.

    This concept demands that professionals make a great effort, but in return, it generates more productive and effective groups thanks to an atomized structure, formed by smaller work teams that can operate effectively without the hierarchy of larger groups.

    How it works

    It is necessary to configure flexible teams called “commands” according to the needs of the projects and to promote environments where communication flows. Once the environment is created, it can be modified according to our own interests. It is a flexible, light and resolutive model formed by knowledge workers: creative, imaginative and innovative people who can work with almost anyone, at any time and anywhere. Only the companies with enough work volume can afford to have fixed costs. However, with this model you can work without bosses, offices, administration, rents, legal structure, contracts, etc.

    It provides shared responsibility among all the members of a team, but it requires a leader or driver, who is the ultimate authority. This leader is different in each project and it is who drives and makes the resolution of the project possible. In this type of collaborating model the fact that problems are not well defined is accepted, as well as the development of the projects being dynamic, because it is open to changes. 

    Confusion in leadership 

    Leadership must be held by the team, the network of trust, the people who trust you and that you trust. There is always someone that stands out because of their ability to lead the team, but what is ideal is that the team as a whole establishes some rules. It is a sensitive point because it may make you fall into the trap of looking for a consensus for everything in an exaggerated way. It is a situation that does not need the active consent of every member, but just an acceptance in the sense of no negation. This slows down processes and produces the loss of effectiveness and productivity. It is necessary to achieve balance.

    Traditional organizations are considered to be solid structures, rather rigid, formed by departments that work independently, complicating communication, and that work on their own. Liquid-state organizations have lighter forms and are more malleable and agile when facing changes. If we take a step forward, gas-state or atomized companies can respond to continuous transformations with light, malleable and adaptable structures.

    In short, these are organization models that are not based on power leaderships and that focus on people and their emotions.

     They are an essential part in the process of using agile methodologies through project management tools like Trello+Kanban. With them, the activities of the different tasks are defined by the team, as well as the time and priorities needed to carry them out. In order to have a collaborative professional profile it is important to reject hierarchical positions and egos. What is more important is the motivation and experience of each member. It is of highly importance to have values like trustworthiness, generosity and rejection of competitiveness. For that, among the members there cannot exist indispensable economic needs because they can affect the rest of the team. 

    colaborativo » Treze Marketing

    Be careful with collaborative overloading

    An investigation published by the magazine Harvard Business Review in which more than 300 companies were researched, suggested that collaborative work is usually unbalanced. Some profiles are more demanded than others and are excessively consulted. When it happens, there is a risk of provoking a “bottleneck” effect, which means that an action cannot be performed unless these people work on it first. Also, as these professionals are doing an extra job, they may be in risk of leaving their own tasks and, ultimately, being less effective in their work. They may feel demotivated and they could gradually start to dissociate from the collaborative project or business. 

    Knowledge nomads 

    Knowledge nomad and innovative workers are the most searched profiles in the XXI century. The value of these individuals is defined by their personal knowledge, which gives them a competitive advantage from other workers. Their values are trustworthiness, respect and freedom.

    They stand out because of their working capacity and they use technology to learn (invisible knowledge) and to work. They enjoy what they do for a living and they integrate it as part of their daily activities. Their working environment has no borders, it has no geographical limitations. They can work with anyone anywhere and work with the same efficiency in any kind of cultural environment.

    They are defined by the theories of needs of Murray and McCleland in the area of Human Resources and which have a “psychogenic” nature: need for knowledge, growing, accomplishment, initiative, responsibility, order and method, change, aesthetics, etc. So, they are people that can make the difference in an organization, they are not content with the hygiene factors of Herzberg like fixed salary and work and are those who get up everyday with an interest to learn and do new things, those with motivational factors. 

    Knowledge nomad features:

    Values

    • Flexible
    • Committed
    • Resolutive
    • Creative
    • Imaginative
    • Innovative
    • Intuitive
    • Motivating
    • Free
    • Trustworthy
    • Tolerant
    • Collaborative
    • Respectful
    • Emotional 
    • Divergent thinking
    • Social
    • Ability to unlearn
    • Agile
    • Ethic
    • Sincere
    • Without geographical limits
    • Knowledgeable
    • That uses information freely
    • Time management
    • Flat structure
    • Teamwork
    • Digital native
    • Disruptive innovation
    • Multiple perspective
    • Hyperconnected

    John Moravec set the term “Knowmad”(a neologism that combines the words know and nomad) to define knowledge nomads and Raquel Roca established the following related abilities:

    • Creative, innovative, collaborative and motivated. 
    • Highly inventive, intuitive, capable of producing ideas.
    • Not only access information, they try to use it openly and freely.
    • Network creator, connected to people, ideas and organizations, etc.
    • Digital natives, they understand how and why digital technologies work.
    • Ability to use tools in order to solve different problems.
    • Competence to solve unknown problems in various contexts.
    • Learn how to share (without geographical limitations).
    • Not afraid of failure, they interpret it as more knowledge.
    • Ability to unlearn fast and to add new ideas.
    • Capable of creating flat knowledge networks.

    Differently to terms like millennial, knowledge nomads are not in a specific age interval. However, by 2033 66% of the active workforce would be millenial and Z-generation (digital natives) people, with their values, talents, ideals and pretensions. This case scenario encourages a deep transformation of working environments for people who have other goals when applying for a job, like personal development and growing, a good working environment, social responsibility or a good plan for growth. 

    But, are current companies and society ready for this new paradigm? In this new paradigm, the need for professionals to reinvent their own existence is a reality. Companies need to integrate entrepreneurial people that, according to their development areas or interests, are able to be part of collaborative networks. We know that the current market demands the quick adoption of new technologies that add value, agility and flexibility. Also, the outsourcing of services has become a must for the companies that want to innovate.

    Moreover, economic and financial resources tend toward this kind of services, because they do not involve big investments. This way, we look for solutions when we need them. In the digital era, maintaining a good contact network is the key, both personally and professionally. This kind of collaborative business triggers the creation of user communities in a safe and trustworthy environment and reduces the risk of being competitive. 

    To sum up, a collaborative world is much better and working in a collaborative way is the most efficient way to do it.