The Power of Co-Creation


This one is not a typical book review; I actually found this concept worth sharing & compelling enough to write on. So here it goes “together we create value”; “don a mind-set of win-win partnerships”& “learn to build healthy relationships”. This is just a glimpse of a book – The Power of Co-creation – written by Venkat Ramaswamy (who coined the term co-creation with business thought-leader C.K. Prahalad) along with consulting partner Francis Gouillart to introduce a wealth of powerful examples of the remarkable benefits of the hot new practice of co-creation, from leading companies such as Cisco, Nike, Starbucks, and Dell, demonstrating how any company can use these methods to generate breakthrough results.

Competitive advantage in this era will come not from displaying power & wielding dominion but about collaborative relationships.

Power of Co-creation

Co creation is about engaging people to create more value together. It’s a revolutionary new practice of co-creation bringing customers, suppliers and the other partners, as well as employees at all levels into the process of creating new products and services, and even managing the company revealing the huge payoffs in profits, rapidly growing market share, cutting costs, and minimizing risks.

Co-creation is a major re-think on how businesses create value. It involves redefining the way organizations engage individuals in value creation, especially employees and internal stakeholders, but also customers, suppliers, and related external stakeholders and communities. It is about organizations unleashing the creative energy of people by inviting and enabling them to interact with them differently. Value generated from experiences is greatest when there is interactive engagement. Human experience is the key starting point of value creation. You can start anywhere in an ecosystem.

Co creation seems to be the new language of business which can certainly create differentiation. The organization’s focus need to be shift to interactions which requires putting in place engagement platforms that enable new interactions. Just discussion & designing the product in the boardroom is not going to create value anymore.

Cocreation opens up various aspects of innovation:

  • A product or service or business model.
  • An operational process/interaction (externally facing or internal).
  • A management process (e.g. strategy, resource management).

The net result is transformative – engaged individuals and a powerful, co-creative enterprise. In organizations, co-creation can be used in a variety of ways, from the very small to the very big. Co-creation applies at the level of a single operational process inside the company. In that sense, it is the new reengineering or the new quality. Any employee who participates in a business process – i.e., anybody who works inside an organization of any kind – can benefit from co-creating the process he or she participates in.

Your being at any role in the company is not the constraint here & you can still contribute in the company’s transformation. Starbucks, to give one example, changed its strategy in response to many ideas and insights gained from engagement with its employees, customers, and other stakeholders, involving a larger and larger set of constituencies in its strategy. Nike has outgunned Adidas in the running shoe market by motivating people to run.

Ultimately, you can redefine an entire ecosystem of business and change the role of your organization in society through co-creation. More and more CEOs are adopting co-creation as the way to redefine the role of their business in their industry, and more broadly in society, often mobilizing large group of internal and external people in doing so. Crushpad, a do-it-yourself winery in San Francisco, is building an entire ecosystem of wine lovers and wine businesses by letting them co-create their wine through their web site and other technologies.

There are successful examples of co-creation in every part of the world and nearly every industry and function. Co-creation has made it possible to design a stove that could stop 1.6 million people dying annually through smoke inhalation.

Co-created with local NGOs and consistently refined using insights from users, the Chulha is made largely from locally available materials and is easy to manufacture and clean, one of the main reasons why the Chulha won the prestigious Index Award (Denmark) for the best innovation in its class. The Chulha is endowed with eco design. It boasts of improved fuel efficiency, a reduction in carbon monoxide and particle emissions, the exclusive use of simple materials like concrete, and even the packaging, which is made from recycled woven polypropylene, all contribute to making the stove stand out as an excellent example of eco design.

The Chulha is an excellent example of how collaboration and co-creation, even with customers from low socio-economic strata, can be immensely successful.

So let’s look forward to a promising new world order & henceforth concentrate more on co-creation than competition.

your thoughts welcome!

  1. Rohan Deshpande says

    U&US Design studio offers co-creation of home furniture designs. If you are looking for doing entire home design, please visit

  2. Satyam says

    Oh Yes,
    how can we forget wikinomics.. its another master piece.

  3. Sandeep Chahal says

    You can also refer the book name “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything is a book by Don Tapscott and Anthony D.”

  4. Satyam says

    Hey Charu
    I have gone through the book. Its amazing and beautifully written.
    recommended for social entrepreneurs!


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