Create Converge Collaborate – Ready, Steady, Get Set, Go



Who are we?

Create Converge is a transnational project with nine partners in five countries supported by the European Union North Sea Region. We can help with project development. Just get in touch through hello@createconverge.eu or +44(0)1382 432483 / +44 (0)7951 380403.

 

Who is this for?

It’s for everyone interested in exploring collaboration. It’s for freelancers and companies – small and medium size – SMEs to use the jargon – and for both producers, services and clients. It is also written with creative, digital and technology producers and services in mind and anyone who uses these to show, tell and sell, or wants to.

 

We have in mind collaboration opportunities arising from creative, digital and tech and convergence and working across these to develop and produce not just entertainment, but all kinds of applications like service delivery, training, marketing and informing R&D. In other words, these can be great ways for producers and services to drive up income, hone and diversify skills and innovate.

 

It’s for you whether you have never considered collaborating or if you’re intrigued or even if you have already collaborated. Obviously if you are making any kind of living from freelancing or being in business collaboration is in your DNA because you work with clients, right?

 

As above it’s not just for producers and services. It’s also for you whatever sector you work in. It goes without saying that the vast majority work with creative, digital and tech in one form or many. You might be thinking about more things you could do with creative, digital and tech so, just maybe, collaboration would be a good way to go.

 

What creative/digital/tech?

Broadly we mean immersive including VR/AR/XR, games, animation, visual effects (VFX, image capture including film and video, data, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, data including analytics and visualisation, Internet of Things (IoT), web, digital apps and beyond. Taking a look at creative/digital/tech collaboration also means being open to the potential of these for different applications and great ways to mix and match to deliver the best results whether for new or better products and services or for clients.

 

Why collaborate?

There’s a bunch of reasons. You could:

  • Expand and diversify what you have to offer and make yourself more resilient to change
  • Share and pool resources (and risk)
  • Deliver new and innovative products and services
  • Bid for bigger projects
  • Access funding and finance including money targeted at collaboration
  • Reach more product, service and geographical markets
  • Share and grow networks and knowledge
  • Have a higher profile and make a bigger splash

 

This Collaborate how to has been developed by Create Converge to give some suggestions and ideas to help you work out where you stand on collaboration, if it seems worth exploring, developing collaboration and next steps. It is not meant to be exhaustive on every topic but rather to signpost towards the things you need to consider and do.

 

The Collaborate Ladder

Much collaboration is about working on specific projects or contracts but by no means all. There are many ways to collaborate from, say, informal cross promotion, all the way up to a fully fledged joint venture or even merger, signed sealed and delivered.

 

What’s involved?

The process starts with people and organisations assessing their own attitude, strengths and potential for collaborative working. It moves on to the practical steps for putting together collaboration from simple cross-promotion to one-off projects to longer term partnerships.

 

Some collaborations simply evolve but others have a definite beginning, middle and end and depending on the end, there might be champagne corks popping, a huge sigh of relief or a longed for farewell to the rest of the group. But you never know. Collaboration might just be so successful that some or all of the group decides to continue, re-invent or progress up the collaborate ladder.

 

At Create Converge, we are curating case studies and practical examples to help get a handle on the possibilities, how to commission work and collaboration.

 

Why bother?

Because collaboration helps you to develop new ways of working and innovative products and services. It’s a way to increase what you have to offer and create capacity to bid for projects that are bigger, better, more high profile, more satisfying or that deliver social good. It’s a way to hedge your bets by sharing the risk and hopefully reap better rewards than just double what each business alone might achieve.  

 

By the way

Inspiration for this Guide has come from many sources but for collaboration, in particular, the Institute for Collaborative Working that developed what is believed to be the first Internationally approved standard on collaborative business relationships (ISO 44001). That means it’s a standard produced by an independent, not for profit organisation and approved by the UN – yup, the United Nations.

If you have never heard of ISOs it’s worth reading this Wikipedia page. Essentially standardisation was developed due to the first industrial revolution to establish standards like sizes and weights for everything from equipment to food and so make it possible for trade to grow between people, companies and countries. So as we’re now at Industry 4.0 it stands to reason that standardisation has long since moved on to creative, digital, tech and, of course, collaboration. 

Above all this is a working document and we welcome your thoughts, experiences, criticisms and suggestions. Bring them on!

Get ready to collaborate