It’s possible now to share everything from bicycles and car rides to power tools and toys. This is due to the ease with which sharing platforms can be built, the ubiquity of connected devices, and, in many cases, the ease with which smartphones can help us find precisely what we want. This on-the-go, find-it-now mentality is partially a driver in showing people that convenience and access are values that are paramount. And if anything, sometimes physically owning something is starting to be viewed as carrying certain burdens, like storage and maintenance, particularly in a world where mass urbanization is occurring.
As the collaborative economy becomes more popular it is obvious there are massive issues that need to be addressed and policy makers need to face up to. In Ireland for example, its tough to share a car because of our insurance laws. However as always wherever there is a problem there are always solutions. I see opportunities for insurance companies to sell new products based on collaborative consumption.
I know this would make my life easier - my catalytic converter bombed this morning, it would be ideal to share the cost for repairs....
When I am asked about what I do, occasionally I get blank unresponsive looks back... Strategy is a term that is used occasionally in conversations without a true understanding to what it really is. There is the short explanation - it's about looking at where you are now, seeing where you want to be and putting the plan, resources and capabilities in place so you can get there. Easy...
However it does get somewhat more complicated especially when looking into different Industries, the role and responsibilities of a strategist and senior management goals (a focus on strategic planning and execution or increasing shareholder value etc).
The Boston Consultancy Group published this paper to provide an Understanding of the Role of the Chief Strategy Officer. It's pretty good and gets into the nitty gritty of the general tasks and responsibilities of the CSO.
What's really interesting about the article is the analysis they conducted to understand why some CSO's are more effective than other's. Their conclusion, effective CSO's have:
1. Clearly Defined Roles
2. They get the basics right around planning, growth and innovation.
3. They build credibility and trust (esp in the first 100 days)
Here is a nice diagram from an interview with 48 CSO's and their main responsibilities.
I especially like the soft part of this framework: building trust. We can be thought the frameworks and processes but its the softer part of strategy that is very interesting and more difficult to master. Behavioral Economics and strategy are now completely intertwined and the idea of building trust although not at all new, has been given a new prioritization.
See Dan Ariely discuss this here:
To gain trust you must demonstrate that you can deliver value and you are not just seen as an overhead.
Good listening skills are necessary - You need to shut up and listen! Then act.
Really insightful presentation from Jeremiah Owyang and his company Crowd Companies about the business model for Collaborative Consumption
As part of my MSc I am going to analyse Airbnb and how it can survive into the future. As it's one of the most successful collaborative consumption business I was to understand the nuts and bolts of sustainable growth for collaborative companies.
As a basis for this investigation I am using Marakon's Framework for Sustainable Organic Growth.
Delivering out-performance on organic growth is a tough standard, but it can be achieved by putting into place the organizational growth building blocks described above and by adhering to the themes that growth exemplars live by:
1. Being a step better most of the time vs. much better some of the time
2. Focusing on where the real headroom is
3. Putting consumer benefit at the center of all decision making and execution
4. Opening the aperture for discovery
5. Channeling ‘bad’ costs into ‘good’ growth opportunities
6. Embedding growth into the company fabric
Companies that turn these themes into action will not only become exemplars in organic growth, but will also position themselves to and invariably become better acquirers, better parents, and superior creators of shareholder value.
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Ken Finnegan is a strategist and technology enthusiast from Dublin, Ireland. He has a passion for Collaborative Consumption.