Kellogg Magazine  |  Spring/Summer 2015




Brian Uzzi explains how Kellogg’s latest initiative examines
new ways to collaborate

Success in the 21st century depends on collaborating through networks, crowds and human-machine partnerships, says Brian Uzzi, co-director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems. These new methods of collaboration are transformative. Companies that learn to use them right will go from looking at the future through a keyhole to having the key that opens the door.

That mindset is what led the school to create the Kellogg Architectures of Collaboration Initiative (KACI), a new cross-disciplinary track that equips leaders with tools and insights needed to harness the power of relationships, collective intelligence, and thought partnerships between human and machine.

Kellogg sat down with Uzzi, KACI’s faculty director, to explain Kellogg’s latest thought leadership program and why collaboration matters now more than ever.

K: Why the renewed focus on collaboration?
BU: Kellogg pioneered negotiations and teamwork in management. While these canons of business relationships remain critical — and indeed dynamic — a field has emerged related to the “new team” that influences our businesses without being contained in the walls of corporate headquarters.

We live in an era of data and relationship explosions. Increasingly, executives cannot rely solely on their own acumen or that of a small team. Rather, leaders must understand how to transcend their own limitations and tap into the collective intelligence of customers, suppliers, partners and influencers through networks and crowds to fully capture insights critical to business and embedded in big data.
K: What’s the potential upside of exploring new methods of collaboration?
BU: There is a great deal of untapped potential in these often unharnessed collaborators. By having a broader and deeper perspective, executives can make better predictions about the direction of their business, and with real-time insight, do so with speed and accuracy. Additionally, such insight can lead to innovations, and those businesses that are at the forefront of tapping into these rich knowledge sources will reap the advantages to their competitors’ dismay.
K: What is the future of collaboration?
BU: Businesses will become increasingly aware of the value that human and machine thought partnerships can bring. By expanding their knowledge in this manner, tomorrow’s leaders will address future challenges and opportunities with greater acumen than seen before: The combination of man and machine is more powerful than man or machine alone.