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Over the next decade digital technologies will redefine how enterprises and individuals get things done

The pressure is on. Technology is evolving, routes to market are getting faster and global enterprises need to innovate to succeed in an era of digital, and start-up, disruption.

Workplace attitudes are changing just as fast. Bettering the bottom line is not enough to satisfy the younger generations now coming into the workplace – they want a sense of purpose and an opportunity to be a part of meaningful projects that bring good to society as much as the business1.

To meet these internal and external business pressures, companies need to open themselves up to new ideas, accept new norms and embrace new ways of seeing the world. And they won’t achieve this operating in silos and continuing to do things the way they always have.

KinmanInk_Vodafone_Co-Creation-infographic

In order to succeed, businesses need to interconnect and share their skills and ideas with each other. By collaborating and co-creating, businesses have a powerful opportunity to effect positive change, tap into new revenue streams and develop innovative new products and services.

1. Complex challenges can’t be tackled alone

When a global multinational set its sights on a problem or new product, it always had the scale, customers and capital to move the needle. The next-generation of business issues requires a next-generation approach - one that involves working together as a global ecosystem to meet the bigger challenges and opportunities.

At the same time enterprises are looking for ways to become more nimble to compete with disruptive startups. In order to do this they need the agility to trial innovative projects and test new products and services without necessarily taking on talent on a fulltime basis. These two trends are complementary and will continue moving the enterprise towards a more flexible staffing model.

2. Collaboration breeds innovation

It can be challenging to innovate inside a multinational company, when the revenue and results may not be seen for several financial quarters. Often the far safer route of continuing with business as usual is preferable. But this is not how competitive start-ups, who aren’t afraid to test projects and ideas, operate. To change the enterprise mind-set businesses should look outside of themselves and find new ways to leverage their assets and capabilities. Combining existing tools with a completely new toolkit opens up fresh possibilities for products, services and initiatives that can be done together.

3. People like purpose

What’s good for society can also be good for business. Take the unbanked global population as an example. There are currently five hundred million unbanked farmers in sub-Saharan Africa – giving them financial inclusion would not only support global food security, but it could be worth $450 billion dollars to the global economy . Businesses have the power to work together to change the world for the better – something that customers and increasingly employees now care about. If businesses jointly align their passions and focus on doing good – which is good for business – then the argument for co-creation as a means of addressing social issues becomes powerful.

Interested in re-defining the way your employees work?

Join one of Vodafone’s innovation workshops to prepare for tomorrow’s workforce

 
1http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeancase/2014/06/18/millennials2014