Coronavirus provides collaboration between unexpected partners

For years, collaboration between companies has been announced as the central trend of the future. Competitive boundaries are shifting and companies from different or the same industries are beginning to work together on a product or project.

So far a pipe dream of futurologists and innovation strategists. But the Corona crisis has changed everything. Even if the virus did not really bring out the best in people (hamster shopping, corona parties, etc.), the corporate world is showing unusual solidarity.

When it comes to a bigger goal, leave the fear of competition behind and support in all areas.


Textile industry saddles up on respirators

The textile industry responds to the urgent needs of hospitals and other medical facilities. Companies such as the German textile company Trigema have switched their production to the manufacture of breathing masks in order to counteract the hospitals that currently lack protective breathing masks.
The automotive supplier ZF is also changing over and is producing 100,000 masks daily, albeit currently only in China.


Help in all areas – from 3D printing to HR

But it is not only breathing masks that are lacking. Especially the accessories for ventilators are slowly becoming scarce. The car manufacturer VW is therefore considering converting its idle production facilities to produce medical accessories and help out the hospitals. From more and more industries, one hears that the companies’ 3D printers are being converted.

There are also unusual collaborations in other areas. For example, McDonalds is lending its currently less busy employees to ALDI to help them out at the supermarket checkouts. Amazon announced today that they would like to offer the released employees a job until their companies are doing better.


These are just a few examples of how the corona virus is changing the world. Competition and rivalry are receding into the background in the wake of the pandemic. The common good takes precedence over personal advantage and everyone uses their skills and resources in a way that allows them to support each other.

My hope from this situation is that this understanding of collaboration will also be anchored in the companies in the long term. When all their skills are combined, great things can be achieved. They just have to do it…

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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