The Globe and Mail reported on a story this weekend about the how a group of Ontario wood manufacturing companies are dealing with the competition; they are forming Clusters and collaborating with each other.

Wow, these Business owners visit each other’s factories, share secrets, share procurement and long-term hiring strategies, collaborate on research and development, as well as productivity enhancements.

This is an excellent example of what I see as a huge step forward in a Business Model, and it is working! It is what I call a “Stage 4 Business Model” and this strategy takes a new set of skills to make it work, well beyond those skills you developed in the old competitive business model or in your MBA.

It is not just in wood manufacturing but it is also working in different Canadian Clusters in areas such as,  Computer  Technologies, Food Processing, Aerospace, Health Sciences to name just a few.

So what are the skills you need to develop to make this work? In a word you require the next level of Leadership capabilities. Namely, to be able to communicate such a compelling possibility that your local competition would be willing to abandon the traditional fears driven up with the thinking of a competitive model, (e.g. production secrets, procurement arrangements, home grown IP, and strategies, etc…). Then to make it work over a period of time requires consistant demonstration of those skills and building of trust.

This is a great local story and I invite you share it with others. As always, I am open to hearing your comments and feedback.

See the full Globe and Mail article by following the link below: