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Accenture Outlook: Making Cross-Enterprise Collaboration Work - Human Resources

Accenture Outlook: Making Cross-Enterprise Collaboration Work - Human Resources

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Published by Accenture
To drive a new era of growth, companies will increasingly be required to collaborate with enterprises outside their corporate boundaries. Doing so successfully requires coordinated attention to a range of human capital strategy issues covering talent, leadership, culture and organization.
To drive a new era of growth, companies will increasingly be required to collaborate with enterprises outside their corporate boundaries. Doing so successfully requires coordinated attention to a range of human capital strategy issues covering talent, leadership, culture and organization.

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Published by: Accenture on Jun 18, 2012
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01/14/2013

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The journal o high-perormance businessThis article originally appearedin the 2012, No. 1, issue o 
Talent & Organization
Making cross-enterprisecollaboration work
 By Yaarit Silverstone, Terence Wallis and Craig Mindrum
To drive a new era o growth, companies will increasinglybe required to collaborate with enterprises outside theircorporate boundaries. Doing so successully requirescoordinated attention to a range o human capital strategyissues covering talent, leadership, culture and organization.
accenture.com/outlook
 
2
Outlook 2012
Number 1
 When the Boeing 787 Dreamliner madeits rst commercial fight in October 2011, the aerospace giant wasn’t theonly company with something to cheer about. Employees and executives rommore than 50 other companies joinedin the celebration—enterprises thathad collaborated with Boeing on theDreamliner, rom initial idea throughdesign, testing and manuacturing.Earlier the same year, Endo Pharma-ceuticals in the United States and OrionCorporation in Finland announceda collaborative agreement to pursuethe lucrative oncology drug markettogether. The companies intend toco-develop all products coming outo the relationship, share developmentcosts and pay each other royalties basedon sales in their respective territories.Something new is going on. It’s gettingharder and harder to dene what a“company” is anymore or to gure outexactly where the traditional boundarylines separating an enterprise romits vendors, partners and competitorsare being drawn. Two companies maycompete viciously in one part o theworld and still cooperate in another.They can also entwine themselvesin each other’s value chains. Have aToshiba laptop in need o repair? UPSwill pick it up or you, as always. Butnow UPS actually runs Toshiba’s repair business, too, and will have the laptoprepaired and back to you within a ewdays. It’s all in the name o streamliningrepair turnaround time and eciency.But who exactly does that delivery guyin the brown uniorm at your rontdoor work or, anyway?The rise o strategic alliances—corpo-rate relationships in which companiesestablish long-term go-to-marketagreements with peers in their marketspace to ll capability, unctional or technology gaps—is one major actor inthis blurring o organizational bound-aries. The air transportation industryhas been a prime example. In 1994,the average airline company had our alliances; by 2008, the average alli-ance portolio had a dozen, and somecompanies had as many as 40.But this newer collaborative phenom-enon goes well beyond what companieshave meant by “alliances” over thepast decade or so—relationships thatwere oten more ocused on theulllment o service-level agreementsthan on generating new and otenunoreseen market opportunities. And it goes beyond simply workingtogether “as vendors as part o acompany’s supply chain. What’s happening now is undamentallydierent. It is a move worthy o theword
collaboration
—literally, “workingtogether,” not simply exercising mutualcontractual obligations. The Boeingrelationships, or example, went airlydeep into the essence o what it meansto be a corporation, with participantssharing in risks as well as rewards. TheEndo–Orion relationship means thatboth companies are opening up to eachother a great deal o the heart o whatmakes each o them competitive—ideas,processes and market strategies.To succeed in this coming era o cross-enterprise collaboration, companiesmust be able to manage relationshipsacross organizational boundaries aseectively as they do within thoseboundaries. Success, in other words,involves ar more than how contractsare established, how marketing ismanaged and how work handos aredocumented. What’s needed is coordi-nated attention to a range o humancapital strategy issues covering talent,culture change, establishment o trust,shared learning experiences, organiza-tional designs, governance structures,technologies that enable knowledgesharing and more.
Drivers and challenges
Cross-enterprise collaboration makessense or a number o business reasonsand has arisen in response to dierentkinds o market drivers. Yet each reasonhighlights an organizational or talent-related challenge to be overcome.
Financial risk mitigationdepends on effectivecollaboration tools andapproaches to learningthat can unite differentcompanies in commonways of doing things.
 
3
Outlook 2012
Number 1
Cost cutting.
In industries such aspharmaceuticals, development costscan be so high—about a billion dollarsto bring a new drug to market—that itmakes nancial sense or companiesto collaborate with other enterprisesto share costs and risks. However,this nancial risk mitigation dependson eective collaboration tools andapproaches to learning that can unitedierent companies in common wayso doing things.
New sourcing strategies.
Outsourcingand shared services have made thestructure o the enterprise moremodular—which, in turn, highlightsthe need or better integration andcoordination among the dierent parts.Indeed, executives whose organizationsare involved in an outsourcing rela-tionship will oten speak proudly o asituation where it is almost impossibleto tell whether a particular task is beingperormed by an internal employeeor one rom the outsourcing provider.Making that happen, however, requiresthinking about more than the tacticaleorts o workfow management andocusing instead on the leadership andcultural elements that can create moreseamless cooperation.
Expansion into global markets.
  Another important driver o cross-enterprise collaboration is globalization.Establishing a solid presence in anew and unamiliar market can otenbe accomplished aster and at lower cost and risk by collaborating with alocal partner. Yet bringing together multiple enterprises across nationalboundaries—with dierent HR policies,perormance management strategiesand career paths—can cause misunder-standings among the dierent playersand undermine success. ReconcilingHR approaches and practices amongthe collaborating companies is vitallyimportant.
Speed to market.
In many cases,collaboration can reduce developmenttimes and speed products to market,in part through the ability to engageteams in round-the-clock workfows.Boeing estimates that its collaborativeapproach to building the 787 shavedabout a year o the aircrat’s develop-ment time. BMW’s X5 Sports Activity Vehicle used more eective collaborationbetween its US-based and Europe-based teams to cut typical time tomarket or a new vehicle by at least12 months. At the same time, however,companies can risk undermining thatinherent collaborative advantage i they haven’t established adequateprocesses or workfow managementand timely decision making.
Complexity of products.
Another challenge has to do with the increasingcomplexity o products, especiallythose that are heavily electronics-based—rom jet airplanes to cars tohigh-tech devices. Cross-enterprisecollaboration is a way to ll in capabil-ity gaps rapidly, leveraging distinctiveintellectual property, market presenceand distribution channels o two or more companies. The collaborationbetween smartphone manuacturer Nokia and sotware giant Microsot—ocused on developing enterprisesolutions involving mobile devicesand applications—is an example o arelationship designed to deliver more value, aster, than either company mighthave been able to achieve by itsel.
Innovation.
Finally, eectivecollaboration enables companies totap into broader sources o new ideasthat can translate into protableproducts and services. In the commu-nications and high-tech industry, or example, the success o “app stores”speaks to the power o a companyopening up its development platormto other companies. Smaller innova-tors get access to a proven channelor their products, and device manu-acturers, network providers andplatorm companies benet rom asurge in usage.
A comprehensive approach
Cross-enterprise collaboration challengesa company across multiple organizational
In the communicationsand high-tech industry,the success of “app stores” speaksto the power of acompany opening up itsdevelopment platformto other companies.

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