Businesses today exist in a radically changing marketplace. In the blink of an eye you can go from being a winner to a loser. New pressures exerted by digital technologies, globalization, cultural diversity, and the sheer variety of available digital tools force companies to rethink everything they are doing – from advertising to product innovation to staffing. Businesses must rethink the structure of the business itself.
This is a profound shift.
Consumers want new ways to get involved with products, from producing themselves to co-creating them with a brand and even the way consumers communicate between themselves and the companies they want to do business with have blurred the lines between producers, consumers, retailers, the entertainment industry, and advertisers.
This shift demands that every company engage with its customers in new ways. Lines between consumer and producer have blurred and digital tools have empowered everyone to change culture through their own creativity. Want to have a voice? Start a blog. Want to make a product? Start a company. The barriers to entry have collapsed.
New design tools and access to diverse, top-notch talent through the gig economy have accelerated development and production times for everything. Cool idea? Design it in house—or find top talent that can. Send it to a talent network anywhere in the world and in a matter of days, you can have a concept, and even a product in a consumers’ hands.
What’s Standing in the Way?
Although every company that I work with recognizes these new truths, the fact remains that traditional business and corporate structures still get in the way. The existing structures too often stop the dynamic, creative momentum that is possible with a more collaborative and open-sourced approach.
Does this sound familiar? Products and services designed traditionally, without dynamic collaboration and attention to product narrative aren’t likely to succeed. Successful innovation means working differently. Collaboration with customers is key, but the ability to collaborate with the best internal and external talent is even more important.
So how will you recreate your business and design new processes that honor today’s realities as the rule instead of the exception? How will your company break down internal silos and build structures that put collaboration and open talent access at the heart of business?
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Forbes.