Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Part 3 of 5 for the September edition of "Converging over Coffee"
The problem statement for new or improvements to infrastructure have become much broader these days. Infrastructure no longer have just a single function, but needs to be designed to serve multiple purposes. Infrastructure no longer just provides city services, but needs to serve the full spectrum of its people. And infrastructure no longer just caters to current needs, but needs to be sustainably developed & used taking into account its impact on future generations.
With such a huge task at hand, our approach to partnering could afford to be a bit more thoughtful.
When determining the need to form partnerships, it might be obvious to structure the decision around filling the gaps in our existing capabilities. But this "Inside-Out" approach encourages downplaying of the perceived gap in order to keep everything internal. A less obvious approach is to start by thinking hard about the type of solutions the client or the infrastructure really needs, and let that drive partnership decisions. We still have to compare individual capabilities, but the final answer is already very different.
And this continues into the process of forming these partnerships. To rise above the horse-trading of who does what and at what commercial gain/risk, it is again useful to use an "Outside-In" approach. Let's first think "How do we best serve the client & the resulting infrastructure performance?" before we get to... "What best serves our balance of mutual commercial interests?"