‘Collaboration-ready’ firms, says Hugh Forde


Recently we featured Hugh Forde (Director, Cluster Program at Business SA) who has vast experience in generating collaborative outcomes. The economic literature talks about investment-ready and export-ready firms. Hugh has extended it! He is absolutely on the money. See below. 

The function of the collaborative process is to enable firms and other participants to appreciate a wider industry and global context in which they can expand their competitiveness and market growth.  

Firms can achieve this by discussing, in an industry or international context, their respective contents with other firms and/or institutions i.e. research organisations, universities, government agencies, service providers. Industry clusters are a proven mechanism for initiating and facilitating this process.

Alas attempts to facilitate this approach across clusters in South Australia have been captured and constrained by the content syndrome. People are reluctant to practice what they preach and to talk with each other about the respective content of their programs. A ubiquitous barrier is protection of intellectual property. The challenge for clusters is to develop tools and strategies to facilitate implementation of their own collaboration strategies.

These should focus on ‘collaboration ready’ firms. These are firms:
§          Exporting as a key element in their strategic approach to business.
§          That have reached maturity in their domestic markets.
§          Entering overseas markets because there is no market space or application locally.
§          Already using alliancing successfully. 

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