Many companies, large and small, are waking up to the realisation that collaboration just as important than competition. Traditionally, business views have been based on a survival of the fittest mentality where your strategy is rooted in outplaying, out-running, out-living your competition.

Although that most certainly is a strategic influence factor, there’s a far stronger growth mindset developing – and that’s the power that collaboration, and even co-creation, holds for growing businesses today.

In fact, the benefits of collaboration exposed very specific findings in an EY report recently, particularly in the consumer goods market. “Consumer products companies need to collaborate with rivals to unlock new sources of profitable growth amid converging market challenges. That is according to an EY report commissioned by The Consumer Goods Forum: To deliver profitable growth in the world of the new consumer – must your old rivals become your best friends? which finds that the final link in the logistics chain is becoming increasingly inefficient and demands a new collaborative approach.”

And it was Greg Satelle, a Forbes contributor, who hits the nail on the head: “We no longer compete in a resource economy, but a semantic economy where firms that can build, manage and widen connections win out. That takes a different set of skills“.

And it would appear that collaboration with the so-called competition is a trend that has been growing since 1989, where at one point we saw General Motors and Toyota assembling automobiles, Siemens and Philips co-developing semiconductors and Canon supplying photocopiers to Kodak. But this trend, although ongoing, has become an even stronger tour de force in today’s climate. As the rise of the SME continues to dominate the UK economy, digital commerce continues to boom and industry boundaries break down, “”survival of the fittest” seems to be losing its relevance as a business mantra.” – Virgin

Competition hasn’t been removed. It’s become bigger. We’re seeing a networked economy where, instead of trying to claw your way to the top of the pile, success is measured in how quickly you can get to the heart of the network. And those networks are ones that can be provided by “like-minded individuals who offer complementary products or services that could add value for your own customers, or perhaps even by competitors with similar ideals and ethos.”

Collaboration brings together new departments and teams, business cultures and outlooks – and with the congruence of different parts comes fresh thinking and innovative thought and new approaches to traditional challenges. And whether you’re innovating by improving existing product offerings, or looking for your next brand new creation, collaboration is giving businesses the opportunity to not only depend on internal team creativity, but tap into new streams of creativity that would be otherwise hidden.

And that’s exactly the opportunity that presents itself to larger corporates who find themselves stuck in routine, process and a less-agile infrastructure. They, too, recognise the need to innovate, and by collaborating with, and investing in, high-growth businesses, creativity and innovation are becoming the norm, rather than a hidden treasure.

If you’re ready to tap into the opportunity that the growing SME community offers, and you need a scout to find exactly the talent you need, then we’re ready to help. Speak to us about our Corporate Venturing services today.