The New Currency That Your Business Needs (Hint: It's Not Bitcoin)

Karl Fahrbach

What if I told you that one of the secrets to running a successful business in 2017 is actually a lot simpler than you think?

The key to achieving your business goals is something that you’re already quite familiar with, something that you have already been doing since you were very young. Some of the first lessons that we teach our children are the most important, although over time we sometimes neglect them.

As soon as they are old enough to walk and talk, we teach children how to communicate with others. Next, we teach them the importance of sharing; that working on a picture or building a Lego house with a partner will produce a better outcome than going it alone. If collaboration is such a crucial skill to human development, then why does it fall by the wayside once we grow up? Human beings are natural collaborators – from the dawn of time, we’ve worked together to defeat common enemies and achieve shared goals. Our strategy in business shouldn’t be any different.

I’ve learned that the same truths that we learned with crayons and blocks still apply in business, perhaps even more so. I believe that placing a premium on active, focused collaboration in the workplace is more important than ever – and I want to make sure I foster that sentiment with organizations I touch. In fact, collaboration is so fundamental that I see it as the most important new business currency, creating an “office economy” that supports the free and frequent exchange of ideas, something that will pay dividends over the life of your business.

When ideas are viewed as valuable capital in the workplace, creativity naturally begins to flourish. Further, when you establish an “economy of ideas,” everyone feels empowered to come to the table, not just the one or two most vocal stakeholders. This will not only result in tangible business results, but will also promote inclusivity, ensuring that all your business partners feel welcomed, valued, and listened to. In almost every situation, more communication is never a bad thing. You may also be pleasantly surprised to see other positive changes, in things like morale or even efficiency, as your new, collaborative culture takes root. Just think of the time that could be saved on writing lengthy back-and-forth emails when “talk first” becomes the gold standard.

In life and in business, close collaboration with peers can make or break you. If Daimler and Benz never met, what would the luxury car market look like now? What if Batman didn’t have Robin in his corner? Don’t even get me started on Lennon and McCartney.

The bottom line is: in a business environment that promotes a culture of collaboration, great ideas will become more commonplace as the number of ideas shared grows. The formula is simple: when more smart people are in a room, sharing their smart ideas, everyone learns, and your business wins.

The age of doing business in silos is over – it just doesn’t work when communication is easier than ever and collaboration can be achieved in an instant, regardless whether you’re in Toronto or Tokyo. In the new, collaborative economy, ideas are as good as currency. How is your balance looking these days?

Customer experiences cross devices, channels, businesses – even industries, which explains why The Future Will Be Co-Created.

Karl Fahrbach

About Karl Fahrbach

Karl Fahrbach is head of Global Channels and is responsible for SAP’s indirect channel worldwide. Karl’s mandate is to strengthen SAP's competitive advantage in the reseller and partner ecosystem across all market segments with a strategic focus on the General Business marketplace. Under his leadership the organization is focused on accelerating the growth of SAP’s channel ecosystem by driving co-innovation with partners, launching new partner economic models and by ensuring excellence in sales and implementation capacity.