When Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger published The Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999, they unleashed an idea.

The idea was this:

Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.

Conversation was the key mantra of the manifesto.  The book authors argued that traditional ‘mass marketing’ in new, connected markets would have no authenticity. Collaboration, they argued – between employees and customers – was the appropriate marketing response.  Indeed, the idea of social sharing underpins content marketing – some 14 years after the publication of the manifesto.

But many companies have been slow to react and slow to embrace.  The blinding speed has become white hot, with the arrival of social media.

IBM’s Institute for Business Value – the organisation’s “think-tank” – recently highlighted some research findings from a survey of over 4,000 C-suite executives in 70 countries.  The survey findings indicate that collaboration has a way to go before it becomes entrenched in business.

However, the majority of executives interviewed seemed to agree that it was essential, as illustrated in the graphic below.

IBMIBVCollaboration

Image: IBM Institute Business Value

So what are the attributes of a collaborative organisation?  Well, for one thing, collaborative organisations keep their customers informed – and informed in a manner that is relevant and personal.  Just as mass media is a relic from an age of unconnected customers so is mass billing.  Collaboration requires that customers know – and billing, tariffs, bundles, are parts of that knowing experience.  Collaboration requires that customers can get easy access to information they need and take action based on that knowledge.

If IBM’s survey paints a picture it’s this: executives know where they need to go.  But they may not know, yet, who can help them get there.

For information about how Brite:Bill can help enhance collaboration, please contact us.