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Embracing Blockchain Ecosystems: the Cultural Shift

Rebecca Hofmann, Blockchain Strategy & Innovation, Equinor Chairman, OOC Blockchain Consortium
Rebecca Hofmann, Blockchain Strategy & Innovation, Equinor Chairman, OOC Blockchain Consortium

Rebecca Hofmann, Blockchain Strategy & Innovation, Equinor Chairman, OOC Blockchain Consortium

Blockchain is more than a technology, it is providing a venue to culturally change how we work with our partners, supplies, vendors and regulatory agencies to improve efficiency and profitability. Due to the impending digital revolution, we know the way we do business is changing and managing that change within our companies will not be easy. Blockchain, working in conjunction with other technologies, is an enabler to help with the acceptance of the digital transformation companies are going through.

As the world has become “smaller” due to the internet, collaboration within ecosystems are more important than ever and needs to be taken into consideration when embarking upon digital transformation. Blockchain is a digital tool that is opening new avenues to foster better business relationships based on trust, governance and verification. Companies want to trust information, know that what is supposed to happen is happening and verify that it actually did occur.

The DNA structure of blockchain is about a central source of agreed truth between external parties. This structure is a new, powerful way of working together because all parties must agree upfront how they will work digitally. Blockchain then governs that agreed truth among external parties. Ideally, an auditable verification mechanism is included in the program to govern that agreed upon truth. Currently, participating parties agree upfront how they intend to work together, but it is hard to ensure they are living up to their commitments. Consequently, these parties often end up in disputes and friction may occur that costs the companies involved valuable time and resources to resolve the conflict. By using blockchain as a third-party intermediary, however, the resolution process happens digitally and in real time. Thus, blockchain technology avoids costly disputes and lengthy reconciliation measures.

  Digitalization is as much about mindset and culture as it is about tools and technology  

Finding more efficient and compatible ways of working together with partners, suppliers, vendors and regulatory agencies is the new competitive advantage. Building a blockchain ecosystem will play a major role in making this happen. The best way to start building these ecosystems is by bringing together related parties within a consortium environment. The goal is to foster a network of business partners to create industry solution frameworks and guidelines leveraging blockchain technology. This will maximize opportunities by reducing costs, shortening timeliness and eliminating unnecessary disputes. The best place to start is by focusing on an area that relies heavily on multiple partners and/or vendors and needs digitalization. Next, would be to evaluate the entire process from start to finish with all touch points and document current pain points for all related parties. This process will require including and collaborating with all parties involved in the process both internally and externally to your company.

Could your company’s new competitive advantage strategy include being part of a collaborative blockchain ecosystem? Is your company ready for this type of culture change? If not, you may be left behind.

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