Convert Co-Opportunity to Co-Creation to Give and Get More

The Business Roundtable and Davos both have stated the purpose of a company is to create value, not just shareholder wealth creation. Perhaps we should expand this to co-creation of value which makes more sense than just consume and dispose. Co-creation of value is implied in the Business Round Table and Davos’ New Purpose of a Company. The world has changed and sustainability is important and so we have to co-create more with our stakeholders such as employees, customers, and even competition, who in a skewed way is a stakeholder. They have an interest in our business just as we have in them.

Customer centric customer value creation is important and requires a relationship. Hence we should promote relationship through co-creation.

How many times have you missed an opportunity because you did not have the resources to take advantage of it? Resources could mean money, it could mean skills, it could mean reach etc. Thus when a friend wanted to buy a farm property in Delhi, he could barely afford the minimum 2 acres required by law. He came across an 11 acre parcel at a great price. He went to 3 other friends, and made them partners in buying the whole parcel. This was a co-opportunity which became a value co-creation opportunity when the friends actually divided the parcel into 4 pieces.

Co-creation of babies is a natural example where two different people are needed. Shared resources are becoming common, like cloud storage, using rail tracks belonging to another company to run your trains. Or sharing a teacher in a class room to co-create learning. Or sharing knowledge.

Sharing, community thinking, co-creation are natural activities. Yet, in most corporate situations where winning, driving market share and profits become the goal, we forget these natural activities, and tend to go alone, go solo.

Competition is viewed as the enemy. Build defensive and offensive strategies to beat them.

Customers are often viewed as the adversary, (message often seems to be take advantage of them).

Remember, co-opportunity should lead to co-creation and conversely, co-creation should lead to co-opportunity.

In this new thinking competition are friends, they are enablers, and they are helpers.

Customers are friends, they need us, and we need them.

To do this, a mind-set change to Value creation is necessary for the CXOs, the employees, and must be communicated to customers. In a sense we need to build a co-creation community, and we need to do everything to build or better still co-create a community. What are our needs, what are the needs of the community and our competitors? What are the shared and emotional connects we have and what are the end results we seek? Can we share a joint passion, such as sustainability? Such as uniting for charitable purposes (in India on CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility).

Internally our strategy should be very clear on co-creation and co-opportunity creation. This should translate into a purpose we want to portray to our people, our customers, our partners and our competitors, and if need be the government. We should keep our focus on the members of the community, reminding them on the purpose and the need to co-create, the co- opportunities and the end results.

Then we look at this as a project with a start (the members and the purpose) and an end, which is co-creation improving the well-being of the members (which is value creation) and ourselves. Our decisions are to be driven deliberately by the strategy, the purpose and achieving the greater good of all through co-creation.

We must empower and involve members and the community with tools, with a culture of co-creation and partnership. We must find shared interests.

What improves a co-opportunity and co-creation program is a sense of belonging and fulfilment. Am I getting something worthwhile out of this? Can I connect to my customers and my competitors without making them antagonists, but by making them partners, working towards a common and shared good (or value). Examples include App Developers for Apple or Microsoft, people who go on a co-driving experience, people who build an association with members of typically competing companies, and customers and companies. Companies often buy raw materials from their competitors. Today, many companies share R&D programs. There are many examples. Apple, MS, Amazon all creates competitive advantage through co-creation.

But we forget these in the heat of our wanting to win and not think of win-win. If you are not doing this, maybe you will think differently after this.



Gautam Mahajan, President, Customer Value Foundation

Founder Editor, Journal of Creating Value

New Delhi 110065 +91 98100 60368

Twitter @ValueCreationJ


Author of Value Creation, Total Customer Value Management, Customer Value Investment, How Creating Customer Value Makes you a Great Executive, The Value Imperative, Value Dominant Logic

Come to the Third Global Conference on Creating Value, June 2-3, 2020 in Paris France

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