The collaborative network must maintain a constant rate of change in order to bring success and value to the partner networks.  I guess it can be compared to a shark, in that it must constantly be moving in order to succeed and survive.  All of the activities surrounding the support and maintenance of this network must be focused on supporting, maintaining and encouraging change.  The rate of change of a successful collaborative network is phenomenal especially when you consider the stamina required to sustain a constant rate of change and especially when you consider the discontinuous rate of change that is generated and supported by the collaborative network.

In order to overcome the challenge and difficulty to maintain this rate of change it is important to maintain a high level of interest and participation in the network partners.  I think that the key to this particular requirement is to maintain the interest and this must be done in two ways:

  1. Provide a platform and method to deliver value to all of the participating partners.  This means that the partner must participate to ensure that the network understands and focuses on delivery of value.
  2. Provide an easy and robust method to participate.  This means that there must be not only an outlet for participation but also the direct encouragement from other partner members to participate.  It is easy to participate when someone is reaching out to you and maintaining contact and encouragement.  It is also easy to not participate when your attention is drawn to other matters.

The network collaborative partners are being pummelled by discontinuous change and distractions in a manner and level that drives a shortened focus on any one change due to distractions and other demands.  In order to counter these demands, the collaborative network partners must maintain a level of interest to counteract the distractions.  The network must also realize that the participation for each individual partner will also change, increasing and decreasing due to outside demands.  The trick to maintaining the interest and participation is patience and perseverance from the network members.  This can only be successful through the implementation of a robust continuous improvement process within the network and in order to ensure the maintenance and success of this program there must be a champion that drives the program.

This champion can and should change based on the interest and availability of the champion.  In other words the champion must also change on a regular basis.  So the theme of change requires a robust method of change to support and flourish in the environment.  The reason that a collaborative network fails is disinterest and the failure to recognize and embrace the change. 


And now for the audience participation portion of the show…

ECommerce will have wide ranging impacts on both the retail and manufacturing sectors.  How can you focus these abilities to improve the consumer's experience?  Improving the consumer’s experience will require a re-evaluation of the sales channels, the manufacturing channels and practices and the supply chain channels and practices from the raw materials to the consumers’ homes.  In order to ensure and maintain success in this new reality you must harness the tools and capabilities in many new areas.  How can you support these continuously changing requirements?