A ‘spirit of abundance’

TRENDAFRiCA October 16, 2013

By Ann Nurock

In the old economy and traditional thinking, innovation was designed and implemented in-house often in complete secrecy. But in the new world of business that is information based and knowledge driven, we have moved into an economy that is more about open innovation. Open source economies where people have to adapt to and adopt a greater spirit of abundance.

An open source economy is defined by Wikipedia, one of the greatest examples of its kind, “as an economy in which the development of goods and services happens via open collaboration between independent stakeholders on the global level. It is an economy where the rate of innovation across all sectors is significantly higher than the rate of innovation provided by proprietary research and development characteristic of the 20th century.”

The key principles of this trend are clearly, collaboration and sharing. These days, many organisations would say they have collaborative cultures (or aspire to, at least), but where the open source way really shines is in its ability to inspire people to collaborate beyond the boundaries of their own organisation. And beyond the confines of their own imaginations.

Without question, the most successful example of this innovative world of open source is Android, which is now powering the fastest growing smartphones in the world today.

In education, the Kahn Academy, allows anyone to learn almost anything from arithmetic to physics, from finance to history, all for free. The days of carrying around our OHP slides close to our chests are long gone. Now we have SlideShare, which allows anyone to view any presentation whenever they want – and again it’s abundantly free.

Around the world people share their driving experience via Zipcars and their urban cycle commuting via Biksy, which was conceived in Amsterdam and perfected in Montreal. There is no longer a need to own your own car or bike – just share one.

Even in the area of risk analytics, or the practice of making better risk decisions, open source has become an option through Opengama which offer free software to financial companies, allowing for more transparency into the complicated world of finance.

Crowdsourcing has become an accepted practice as people realise that each idea adds a small portion that combines into a greater result. Collaboration and sharing of ideas from anywhere in the world. It is no longer about sticking to the old ways of doing things, but rather about open strategic thinking that involves new ways of working with partners outside of one’s organisations. It is about new ecosystems, new ideas, new processes, new products but most of all, it is about a spirit of abundance.


Source: After 25 years in the advertising industry, working on some of the biggest global and local brands in her role as CEO of Grey South AfricaPresident & CEO of Grey Canada, TREND.spotter, Ann Nurock, now specialises in business relationships. She is the South African Partner of Relationship Audits and Management , a global consultancy that measures and optimises business relationships, in order to mitigate risk and facilitate growth. She also consults to companies on increasing the value, trust and thought leadership of their business relationships. Twitter: @annnurock; annnurock@gmail.com




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