It shouldn’t be news to anyone that with the rise and rise of the sharing economy a seemingly endless stream of consumer experiences and services are being delivered in new and disruptive ways each and every day. Pioneers such as AirBNB, car share services, Kickstarter and Uber continue to radically alter the supply and consumption of travel, car ‘rental’, project funding and ride services, and more recent arrivals provide innovative ways and means of accessing everything from fruit and vegetables to borrowing pets.
The sharing economy / peer-to-peer business model continues to expand into more and more manifestations of service and experience opportunities, disrupting traditional ways of selling and delivering goods to consumers. As insight professionals, it’s a phenomenon we’re all fascinated by and increasingly, an important consideration in the innovations, customer experience and channel strategy research we do. As a B2C, or more correctly, C2B2C model, it’s definitely here to stay and will continue to impact and shape consumer behaviour for years to come.
But all of this got us thinking; if it’s such a great model for delivering services to consumers, shouldn’t this ‘model’ of disruptive innovation also become the new business logic – that is – the way we structure and deliver our own businesses? Freedom from ownership is not just for consumers, but can also be a boon for businesses. We noted the rise of organisations such as WeWork – shared, flexible office accommodation specifically geared for new generation “entrepreneurs and freelancers” – from a small-scale New York start up to a global operation about to launch in Sydney , and it got us thinking about our own future business structure and resourcing needs – what will Stancombe look like as it evolves over the coming years? (Because we’ve never been an organisation that sits still.)
We envisage ourselves as a place that offers highly flexible connection, committed of course to a common purpose, discovery, innovation and outcomes, but drawing heavily on collaboration on a project by project basis; working with teams of long-established collaborators; building networks of practitioners from various disciplines as needed; creating a place for wide-ranging skills to cross-pollinate and work together towards solutions; and offering a kind of temporary autonomous ‘zone’ in which a group of people are dedicated to one or two particular challenges at a time. Once these solutions, projects or challenges are complete – these groups are likely to dissipate … until the next time.
This means that beyond the core of Stancombe, our business will likely comprise of a range of individuals at any one given time (as it already does to a certain extent); researchers of all kinds, videographers, journalists, photographers, facilitators of all types, design thinkers, digital artists, story-tellers, subject-experts and academics from a variety of disciplines. We might even borrow the odd pet. In short, our model moves beyond the current C2B2C or B2C2B loops and we find ourselves somewhere best described as E2E; “everything to everything”. Surely the best place to be to tackle the new research world of controlled instability, quick responsiveness, flexibility, intuition, agility, imagination and creativity.