The internet power of collaboration and match ups

While out of town at a recent conference, I started reading the book “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams.  The book dives into the topic of current web tools and how they can be used to help the world participate in collaboration efforts.  It is amazing to read about the collaboration efforts that we take for granted and some we don’t even realize are in the works. 

As much as our government and media like to criticize the pharmaceutical companies, did you know that Merck provides all worker from all companies a shared access to its resources called the Merck Gene Index?  They realize that if advances are shared by all researchers, the time needed to resolve complex health issues can decrease exponentially. 

Companies are also opening their thinking to realize that research and development does not always have to be a secret inside the company.  What if they opened up problems that need solving to the world and see what some other great minds outside their companies come up with?  Maybe the solution is already available but not evident to their own scientists.  InnoCentive is a website where companies large and small post solutions or problems that need solving.  Many retired engineers and scientists contribute here to solve issues in their garages or spare problem solving time outside their career jobs.  Know any out of work engineers, researchers, or scientists?  Send them out to the website to check it out.  It is a nice sentiment to see how coordination and collaboration can really multiply when we use the power of the web.

Collaboration does not have to be between large companies like Merck, Boeing, and Proctor Gamble.  It can be between small businesses and could be even more effective.  Our CPA firm is a member of the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants (PASBA).  It is a group of over 200 accounting firms across the country that share in depth knowledge about their processes, forms, experiences and best practices for accounting firms.  The overall benefit is better service levels for our customers, more profitable firms, and the ability to have a backup source of information.  It is by far the best organization we ever participated in and the collaboration power is addictive.  Firms openly share marketing information and forms and allow each other to copy the data verbatim if they would like.  The PASBA model is “Teach, Share, Learn”.  We even have an annual practice statistics entry where all firms enter their most confidential financial data about their firm performance and we openly compare strengths and weaknesses.  This powerful group is loyal to each other like no other and all of the members benefit by joining.

What kinds of problems could we each solve inside our own businesses if we could harness the imagination of people who may have never come into contact with our businesses?  Open your mind and imagine the possibilities.  We want to hear examples of how you have opened your thinking to the realm of new possibilities.  Please post your thoughts.


Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Calculated Moves

Creativity and CPAs don’t generally go together.  Most people think of CPAs as nerdy accountants who can’t talk with people.  Well, it’s time to break that stereotype.  Lively, friendly, and knowledgeable can be a part of your relationship with your CPA as demonstrated by Donna and Chad Bordeaux.  They have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs.  They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams.   They have been able to help businesses earn many times more profit than the average business in the same industry and are passionate about helping industries that help families build great memories.