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Collaborative Communities [Hardcover]

Jeffrey C. Shuman , Janice Twombly , David Rottenberg
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 2001
Collaborative Communities: Partnering for Profit in the Networked Economy challenges your most deeply held assumptions about how to build a profitable business. It is the first and only book to show how to organize your business around customers in collaboration with business partners and suppliers.

Business is going through a revolution and companies and industries as we know them are ceasing to exist. Regardless of how long you’ve been in business, no matter how many customers you have, or your company’s revenues and profits, you must embrace the Collaborative Community™ as the business pattern for achieving success in the networked economy.

Business is quickly becoming defined by the choices the individual customer wants businesses to make available to him or her, not what a business chooses to make available. Customers are increasingly expecting to collaborate in the development of personalized goods, services, and information. The problem, quite simply, is that the business structures that prevail in our economy are not designed to fulfill the needs and wants of knowledgeable and powerful customers.

The challenge facing all businesspeople is to disregard how their business works today, to discard their legacy thinking, take out a “clean sheet of paper,” begin with the customer, and then work backward through the value creation process, developing an understanding of when, where, and how value is created.

Collaborative Communities explains in detail how to build this new business pattern – the seamless alliance of businesses best able to profitably satisfy the shared set of needs and wants of a virtual customer community. This alliance is led by a “choreographer,” a business whose function is to balance the satisfaction of the customers’ personal needs with the need of the business members in the community to operate profitably.

Collaborative Communities describes in detail what you need to know to benefit from this emerging business pattern and gain customer loyalty, grow profitably, and increase shareholder value in the Networked Economy.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Simply and logically, the authors argue that all companiesAespecially small onesAmust partner with other firms to satisfy customer needs and thereby thrive. Schuman, professor at Bentley College; Twombly, a CPA/consultant; and Rottenberg thoroughly explain how to create alliances with suppliers and other firms, and walk managers through the steps. Concise and insightful chapter summaries enhance this valuable primer. (June)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Collaboration between customers and companies is now the name of the game and it's what Collaborative Communities is all about." -- --Patricia B. Seybold, Author, Customers.com, The Customer Revolution,

"Collaborative Communities illuminates an emerging pattern of business development fundamental to success in the networked economy." -- --Joseph Morone, President, Bentley College

"Collaborative Communities provides deep insight into the implications of technology on business models in the 21st century. A great read." -- --George Conrades, Chairman and CEO, Akamai Technologies, Inc.

"Running a customer-oriented business as described in Collaborative Communities is the basis for our success." -- --Eliot Tatelman, President, Jordan's Furniture, a division of Berkshire Hathaway

"Smart companies know the future belongs to companies that choreograph their relationships with customers to maximize share of wallet." -- --Seth Godin, Author, Unleashing the Ideavirus and Permission Marketing

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
We live at the dawn of an economic transition as profound as the beginning of the Industrial Age. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sense of Place...a Very Special Place July 10 2001
Many years ago, I read a book by Wilson S. McWilliams (The Idea of Fraternity in America) in which he provided a broad yet probing analysis of how and why Americans have formed and then sustained various kinds of groups. The groups' structure and purposes vary: military, commercial, religious, political, economic, social, athletic, etc. Most groups emerge as a result of what might be viewed as enlightened self-interest. Our nation's motto ("E pluribus unum") correctly suggests one of the basic principles of Colonial solidarity. McWilliams' concept of "fraternity" is quite similar to Shuman and Twombly's concept of "community" even as the two books written by these authors, obviously, also have a different structure as well as different purposes.
In the Preface, Shuman first acknowledges the "conventional wisdom" that if a given business is based on a good idea and that idea is effectively implemented, the business will succeed. Then he rejects it: "In reality, no matter how good a business idea is, no matter how well the idea is implemented, as soon as you open your doors for business [literally or virtually], you will find your business has to change -- not just minor adjustments and small shifts in marketing or product design but radical [italics] change." Shuman then asserts that what he calls "The Rhythm of Business™" (TROB) is the most reliable process by which to develop and grow successful businesses of every size and type, not just today but yesterday and tomorrow. (The Rhythm of Business is the title of Shuman's previous book.
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This book, Collaborative Communities, adds significant value to your understanding of bringing together multiple organizations to serve the all the desires of a certain customer segment. It puts your business in a facilitators role the definitely extends a huge competitive advantage.
Well organized book, I think the end of chapter summaries really save you time. Solid bibliographical references make it easy to get more from practical examples included in each chapter.
You will not be disappointed with the wealth of insight available if you are willing to read past "the most profound implications of the rapid shift." The authors are very enthusiastic in their language, but the underlying message is powerful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Entrepreneur's View July 9 2001
As an entrepreneur, my time is precious and I rarely read all the articles and books on my "to do" list. However, since I knew the authors professionally, I decided to pull this book to the top of the pile. I'm very glad I did.
I enjoy business books that you can read in a couple of hours but that still have plenty of substance. COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES fills that bill. It details how business models have changed along with the growth of technology and believes that for the foreseeable future COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES are the way to go. If you are interested in insights into strategic timing, information infrastructures and how to build a profitable collaborative community, this book is an excellent choice.
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Collaboration is a popular business buzzword but I haven't found many who can describe clearly how to make it work. This book is like a light in a dark room. It makes the process clear. It goes into a detailed history of how the evolution of technology has increased the power of the consumer to the point where it takes a collaboration of companies connected by the Internet to define, produce and deliver the right products at the right price. The book answered a lot of questions for me. I am looking forward to the sequel. I highly recommend this book! Buy it.
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