Most professionals know how valuable peer-to-peer networking is for professional development and personal growth. As individuals, we’re told over and over that building and maintaining good relationships with others in and outside of our field is vital if we want to compete and stay ahead of the pack.
So why don’t we do the same thing with our companies?
In both Edmonton and Calgary, companies that take their productivity seriously are meeting regularly to share ideas, best practices, success and sometimes, failures.
Supported by Productivity Alberta, the Productivity Improvement Networks, PINE in Edmonton and PINC in Calgary, are two groups of companies that have worked with us before and are now working with each other to keep up momentum as they improve their operations.
“Most of the companies that are members have completed one or more of our programs,” says Scott Penner, Technical Director of Operational Excellence. Productivity Alberta provides funding and in kind support to assist the networks in their collaborative efforts.
The goals for the networks are to create mutual benefits and encourage active productivity improvement. No one sits on the sidelines – each member company is actively working on an improvement project and willing to share information that could help another member on their productivity journey.
Collaboration and cooperation is something we talk a lot about here at Productivity Alberta because we know how important they are to boosting productivity. We have many good examples of successful collaborations here on the blog. In today’s hyper-connected environment, it’s good to remember that we don’t function in a vacuum. Toyota recognized early on in their history that sharing best practices can be a real driver for success. Your company could be struggling with a challenge that someone else has already solved. Why limit your solutions to your own corporate boundaries? Productivity is about working smarter, not harder – remember?
Of course companies have proprietary information about their operations that they may not want to share with competitors. Productivity Alberta acts as a facilitator to make sure that these companies can still share information about processes without giving away trade secrets.
There are a lot of ways that companies can start building collaborative networks. Get involved in with your industry association or start talking to your suppliers and clients about how you can build a better working relationship. If you’re a company interested in working on your productivity and want more information about the Productivity Improvement Networks, you can contact one of our Productivity Advisors who can get you started with a Productivity Improvement Assessment.