This week we are hosting a fascinating academic session as part of our Leadership and Social Innovation in the NGOs Programme. A key area of focus is collaboration with corporations – critical at a time when public sector funding represents up to 80% of NGO income in Spain; and nearly 30% of the NGO have floundered in the last few years.
So let’s look for the Big Fish to paraphrase Bono (U2) who founded the Red Project. As he eloquently put it: “Let’s surf on the back of the wake of these companies. And, I tell you, it won’t be long before our surfboard is moving at its own speed, on its own wave.” Later on, let’s give them a kick in the ass.
Collaboration is a complex matter. Academic research has coined concepts such as “new logic of management emerging” (Crozier, 1997), and spawned talk of “broadening the business model concept to incorporate cross-sector collaborations (….) which can be mutually reinforcing” (Dahan et al, 2010).
But the market orientation concept helps us with a new framework: collaboration means being willing to modify my goals in order to achieve my mission. Collaboration is an area between Me and You, where we can talk about Us. And collaboration leads us to coopetition – a neologism that splices competitive cooperation – and collabo-ration – to stress the rationality of the process.
Can you think of an example of collaboration in this sphere? Mine would be the collaboration between Coca Cola and Cruz Roja, both finding the way to talk about us. A rare and precious marketing jewel.