Last Word

28.04.17

Collaborative working is the key to the future at home and abroad

Source: PSE Apr/May 17

David Hawkins, operations director at the Institute for Collaborative Working (ICW), on why ISO 44001 is a new evolution in collaborative working.

The past 12 months have seen seismic changes both across Europe and the US. Brexit will undoubtedly create challenges for both the public and private sectors, which will place pressures on the public sector and its industry partners and industry at large. The complexity ahead will stretch existing relationships but may, in turn, create the demand for new relationships. 

It is perhaps therefore an opportunity to consider how these relationships will need to focus on high levels of collaboration, across government, between government and industry, together with the need for government to play an active role in building new trading relationships. 

‘Collaboration’ has been an umbrella buzzword for a number of years, but it has been often overused and frequently led to confusion and a diversity of expectations. The publication of ISO 44001, the international standard for Collaborative Business Relationships, which replaces BS 11000, is timely in providing a platform for creating better engagement in order to meet the challenges moving forward. 

By the time this article goes to print, the UK government will have triggered Article 50 to start the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Whether in favour or not the die is cast and, over the next two years, this action will have a major impact not only on the UK but also most of Europe and beyond. It is perhaps not surprising that we should consider the implications of this dramatic turn of events in respect to the future of collaborative working. 

The need for organisations to work together has perhaps never been more critical in today’s economic environment, to meet the demands of the market and growing global competition and the impact of technology and, in particular, communications and transparency of markets. We see today a market place where success is more about what we bring to the market rather than simply what we produce as individual organisations. 

ISO 44001 is not a one-size-fits-all approach and organisations will certainly require tailoring to suit specific and varied situations. Collaboration is not a solution in itself but does offer an alternative perspective to the value chain. Integration in the supply and delivery network both locally and globally can be optimised by focusing on the boundaries between organisations, public and private, to focus on what each does best in a complementary business process. Developing a collaborative approach has been shown to release potential value and innovation. The original CRAFT model and ISO 44001 are not simply a process, but provide a lifecycle framework for relationships which addresses the operational influences that will drive both organisational and individual behaviours, creating a cultural environment where collaboration can be fully exploited to mutual benefit.

Changing the rules of the game requires alternative thinking that may be currently suppressed within the confines of current contracting practice. Led by the British Standards Institution, supported by ICW and based on the success of BS 11000 started in 2013 to develop an international standard backed by 12 countries spanning America, Europe and Asia, ISO 44001 was published in March. ICW is proud of its contribution to this journey and continues to support further developments whilst helping organisations and individuals harness the power of collaborative working.

“The need for organisations to work together has perhaps never been more critical in today’s economic environment”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

W: www.instituteforcollaborativeworking.com

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