Recession Can Be Controlled - If Leaders Stop Hoarding Information and Learn to Share, Says Collaboration Expert

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Don Tapscott, Author of Wikinomics, says Business Leaders and Policymakers Must Become "Radical Collaborators" - Just Like the Thousands Who've Built Wikipedia, Facebook and YouTube Business and Economic Growth are Slowed by Secretive Competition and Proprietary Information - Opening the Curtain and Putting More Minds to Work on the Problem Will Lead to Better Solutions and Faster Recovery

The subprime mess happened because big financial players hid the risks - they weren't found until it was too late. If the same players had taken the radical step of sharing information about the bets they were structuring, the best minds - including economic policymakers - could have seen what was happening and taken steps to avert it.

The worldwide plunge into recession could be slowed, and the impact of the recession made less severe, if business leaders and policymakers stopped hoarding information and learned to share.

That's the view of technology and collaboration expert Don Tapscott, who believes that "radical collaboration" - in which business leaders open the curtains and share information that was once proprietary - is the key to solving the global financial crisis and restarting growth.

Tapscott is the author of Wikinomics, a book about mass collaboration. Wikinomics has just been published in a new edition with new material that comes to grips with the most serious business and economic issues. According to Tapscott, collaboration can transform business and global economics just as it has already transformed the media industry and the social sphere through Wikipedia, Facebook and YouTube.

"The old-school way of doing business hides problems and creates inefficiencies," says Tapscott. "Radical collaboration solves those problems. It brings the best minds together, exposes hidden risks, and accelerates innovation and growth. We've seen how it transforms industries, such as music and entertainment. But now it's time to take the same approach to the most serious problems - problems with the gravest consequences for the economy and society. Leaders need to change their habits and open the curtain."

Tapscott is available to discuss:

-- How radical collaboration could have averted the subprime meltdown and the global credit crunch. "The subprime mess happened because big financial players hid the risks - they weren't found until it was too late. If the same players had taken the radical step of sharing information about the bets they were structuring, the best minds - including economic policymakers - could have seen what was happening and taken steps to avert it."

-- Why collaboration drives growth and competition doesn't. "Innovation happens faster, new products come to market faster, and performance improves when more minds come together around the problem. Goldcorp became a dominant player in the mining industry by making its proprietary geological data public and challenging the outside world to do the prospecting. It turned outsiders into collaborators and put its resources into technologies to exploit the discoveries - not the discoveries themselves. If Goldcorp had taken a traditional competitive approach and hidden its data, it would never have been able to grow so quickly."

-- Why innovation happens faster and big problems get solved through open collaboration. "The software industry knows the value of open-source software development, where the code is made public so that anyone can work on it and improve it. The result is better software with fewer bugs. That approach shouldn't be confined to software development. Most companies that hold patents would do better to share them, because by themselves they don't have the resources to bring them to market. And collaboration can accelerate big solutions to big problems. Novartis published its raw research data about Type 2 Diabetes because it recognized that the problem was very big and very important - so big and so important that it needed more brains and more resources than the company had under its roof."

"Business leaders will have a hard time collaborating because collaboration goes against all their instincts," Tapscott says. "But there's ample proof that leaders who take the radical step of collaboration and data-sharing do better. They avoid risks, grow faster and dominate markets."

Mr. Tapscott is available to discuss these and other points about collaboration and the current economic crisis. For more information, to schedule an interview or for a copy of the new edition of Wikinomics, contact Alexandra Corriveau of Sommerfield Communications at (212) 255-8386 or alexandra@sommerfield.com.

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Alexandra Corriveau
Sommerfield Communications, Inc.
212-255-8386
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