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No one-way street, collaboration is key

It is all about collaboration. That is if you talk to the folks at ABB.

They said the key to success in the automation environment these days centers around partners working together without any agendas other than to get the job done … pure collaboration.

“Collaboration is the key engine of our success,” said Michel Demare, chief executive and chief financial officer at ABB Ltd., during the opening session at the 2008 ABB Automation World Conference & Exhibition this week in Houston. “Collaboration is around us all the time. Online is the ultimate collaboration. Online collaboration allows for sharing ideas around the world.”

Success does not come from any one superstar with the organization, but rather through constant communication and discussion amongst workers and partners.

“Most real innovation is not the result of a few geniuses, instead it comes from collaboration,” Demare said.

One of ABB’s partners, IBM, agrees.

“Technology is the easy part, it’s all about how you collaborate,” said John Brantley, general manager, global chemical and petroleum industrial products industries at IBM.

“If you don’t want to collaborate, there are companies out there right now seeing how they can knock you off your perch and make more money that you can,” he said.

Brantley talked about a survey IBM conducted with chief executives, and results found 76% feel you have to collaborate to be successful. “Where I have seen (collaboration) fail is where the top is not committed,” he said.

“Long term meaningful relationships will help put distance between you and your competition,” said Neil Duffin, president ExxonMobil Development Co.

He laid out a matrix for key focus areas for success centered around working together. Those six areas are safety leadership, execution excellence, technology, local investment, education and training, and environment.

“Power of collaboration is all about relationships,” said Mark Taft, group vice president process automation global control system business at ABB. “There are two main reasons for this, one being the decision to buy (a system) is the beginning of a relationship that lasts 10-20 years. The second is the technology is changing frequently. It is important that customers and suppliers work closely together.

“As we work together, there are three things you have to believe. You have to believe in your goal; you have to believe the goal can be achieved; and you have to believe in the other members of your team.”

—Gregory Hale

Source:  1 May 2008, InTech Home InTech Home, No one-way street, collaboration is key,  Gregory Hale,

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