The Need Exists for a Strong Association with Mutual Growth as the Goal
In the last half a century I have looked at many major changes take place in the World, from radical to worrying, even ultra-inventive, with long-term consequences. The generation-old maxim of every individual for himself is under a continuous challenge in an unceasing search for advancement.
Gone are the times when we had to take care of our personal affairs so one may not take our plans and use them to his/her personal profit. We have come to the era of Social Media where news spreads even quicker than the wildest of the wildfires. Also gone are the heydays when a local mom-and-pop store was the source of almost all the articles of necessity that a household required. Big-box stores have sprung up here and there, with long hours of business. They flex their muscles in driving the hardest possible bargains from their suppliers. They compete for every single dollar the customer inside the store owns or can use on the Credit Card.
Do you notice any indication of collaboration in the foregoing model? Unfortunately, I look at a slaughter of the traditional value chain where the populations used to communicate. The convenience store, the butcher, the barber, the baker and the shoemaker provided an informal club-like atmosphere. Friends met at these spots to talk about everyday situations and kept their sanity.
Now, they get together in their children’s sports events and school celebrations. More often than not, they meet to either compete or seek retribution for nonexistent issues. Billions of us participate in the expanding social media outlets where more gossip floats around than facts. Alas, those unfamiliar with computers cannot take advantage of this tool. Their only option: keep sitting in front of the idiot box, pay a sizable monthly subscription for channels they do not wish to look at and waste their lives away in a non-productive, non-relaxing manner.
So, where do we see collaboration? We encounter it in the larger field of the equation where mega corporations collaborate to produce an unusual product or service, for example, the iPhone from Apple. It picked up the most suitable technological innovations from Google (maps), AT&T (their distribution channel) and so many more giant partnerships. The firm used sensor technology it did not own to combine the accelerator feature, the light-sensing capability and the proximity sensor to offer us a state-of-the-art product 10 years ago. The ultimate result turned the whole computer industry on its head.
Collaboration comes into play with the massive mergers where giant organizations keep on picking up their nearest competitors for billions of dollars to expand their individual market share. Pharmacies, grocery store chains, spectacles, and eyeglass manufacturers, even funeral homes exist in a never-ending pursuit to prevail over the whole market so they could dictate their own terms upon the consumer deprived of alternatives.
Most of these corporate takeover initiatives start out as collaboration but terminate in eventual amalgamation. Is it a sound trend? I do not think so!
Where do we desire to view collaboration if not among the large behemoths? We should look for it in the smaller enterprises, between far-flung producers and their distant prospects. Such collaboration can provide wider publicity and establish fresh demand for their goods. There is a critical necessity for collaboration among individuals to bring in their personal skills together to produce synergy. They could then enhance their own living standards, their work environment, and their family’s future! Collaboration among the disadvantaged in creating interactive learning groups will help them conform to advancing technology. It can position them on a track of improvement. There is an immediate obligation to back up and encourage projects with possible advantages to the masses and not only the fast-growing multi-national corporations.
Various instances of collaboration have resulted in the astronomical advancement of the masses. The Internet happens to be one of the most remarkable. It has revolutionized our lives for the better in a million ways! Global collaboration is gaining ground in an unpredictable fashion. From products to services and from education to heath care, there is hardly any field left out of this development.
Collaboration arrangements in areas as remote as Power Generation to Logistics Service Providers that keep Global Economy in motion are taking place right at this time. Tele-Medicine to Robotic Surgeries, Preventive Maintenance of Heavy Machinery to Remote Handling of Sensitive Equipment, there is hardly any territory left unaffected. Even Custom Crops to Environment Protection and ‘On Demand’ Car Rides to Instant Flight options see its influences.
Emerging technologies will soon enable us to go beyond mere conversation in ‘Real time’ to actual ‘touch and feel’ platform of the Internet. The technology getting all set to deliver us this outcome is ‘Tactile Internet.’
It could indeed be one of the sharpest illustrations of ‘Collaboration’ in the proper spirit of the term.