After shutting down communications to take the time to focus on writing Democratizing Transformation: New Rules for 21st Century Leaders, I knew that it was time to go live again and to share what I have learned. But where to draw the line? When do you stop reading and writing and start sharing? Then I spent the morning with Francis-Gouillart and his sponsors from PRTM, a consulting firm that has specialized in operational consulting. PRTM is well known to those who specialize in subjects like supply chain management and strategic sourcing.
Francis Gouillart and his co-author Venkat Ramaswamy of the Michigan Business School have written an interesting book on the Power of Co-creation. The co-creation of value is a concept that has been given increasing attention since it became clear that Web 2.0 was one of the products of the Internet revolution. Just as some media were declaring an end to the Internet bubble, it became clear that eBay and uTube and Google maps were something new. Platforms were being created where the users were creating the value through their contributions to the collective good.
So the early spotters of new trends such as Charles Firestone at the Aspin Institute organized conferences. But of course, as well-informed professionals gathered to consider the new value of co-creation, some of its problems became apparent. Motivation is not often symmetrical. Intellectual property is ambiguous when two parties are creating it. The list of problems with co-creation goes on.
In the pendulum swing of ideas, co-creation of value had come and receded before many people had the opportunity to think about what it might mean for them.
What Francis Gouillart and PRTM have seen however is that co-creation offers the opportunity to open the value chain to new partnerships an alliances. So motivation is asymmetrical. Buyers and sellers may not have balanced motivation. There may be other opportunities in a world in which handoffs don’t go from hand to hand. A time for right brain thinkers if there ever was one! Time to come back on-line.