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A small company becomes a partner of a global corporation - and reaches a new level of development. The business instantly "repackages" the solution, adapting to the client's needs. All this becomes possible thanks to the logic of open systems. What is it and how does it apply to Ukrainian business?


The logic of open systems is the logic of interaction, joint solutions and joint resources. It is becoming more and more popular in the modern world, because it allows both businesses and states to find answers to the challenges of the environment.

We notice how the speed of product delivery, technology changes, the emergence of new solutions, and changes in customer priorities are increasing. Already, business models in some areas need to be changed every two years.

In addition, the boundaries between states, businesses, etc. are increasingly blurred every day. There are global challenges (e.g. malaria, human trafficking, lack of clean drinking water) that cannot be solved by a single country. The cooperation of many states is needed to find a way out.

The same thing happens in the business environment. In many markets, it turns out that one organization is no longer able to provide the solution that the customer needs. This requires either a huge amount of capital, or other resources, or an infrastructure that no single player possesses alone. Therefore, companies unite to offer better solutions to clients, and it is not always possible to understand where the border is between them. Organizations can have joint marketing, joint R&D... Such open systems raise competition to a qualitatively new level: they quickly change their business models, set high standards, and shape consumer expectations.


For example, no company produces airplanes independently anymore. Airbus has created a whole network of partners with whom it has joint R&D and introduced joint standards. Cisco can reformat any of its solutions by connecting certain partners. Hardly anyone can really compete with such a system, relying only on their own resources.

In Ukraine, there are also examples of open systems: for example, Good Wine stores and a network of farmers. And Mykola Palienko, CEO of EVO.Company and a graduate of kmbs Strategic Architect School, creates ecosystem platforms (one type of open systems).

A company that works in the logic of open systems focuses on its "core" - what it is best at. And it can no longer "bury" huge capital in its own assets (plants, equipment, etc.), but use the assets of its partners. This is one of the reasons why Ukraine needs the logic of open systems - because the cost of capital is very high here. And capital is development. Instead of spending it on non-core assets, it can be directed to strengthening your "core".

Today, it is no longer relevant to try to become great at everything, it is much more effective to choose what you are great at, and to connect partners to perform the rest of the functions. So strategy now is the art of managing assets you don't own. A leader needs to be able to manage a network of partners, which can be hundreds of times larger than his own business.

The world is now so interconnected that even a small company from Cherkasy, with a strong "core", can become a partner of, say, General Electric without any support from the state. It is beneficial for large corporations to work with small partners, they seek to "throw off" everything superfluous and strengthen their business with the help of other people's uniqueness.

Strategy now is the art of managing assets you don't own

For small companies, the logic of open systems is also beneficial. After all, being a partner of a corporation with a world name means getting an incredible chance for development. A large-scale business invests in those it works with, "pulls up" their standards (technological, management, etc.) to its level. If you can keep it, then you become part of a big game.

Working in open systems is very risky. After all, the reverse side of interaction is interdependence. It is impossible to open completely, because they will "eat". But it is necessary to open up to partners, to integrate with them to a certain extent. However, for this you need to trust them. And this is very difficult for Ukrainian companies.

And, most importantly, it is necessary to understand - why do you want to unite with other players? Perhaps for the sake of multiplying business or increasing efficiency. Or maybe you have a great idea, but don't have enough resources to implement it. What your answer to the question "for what?" depends on whether it makes sense to become part of an open system (or create one yourself by selecting players), and what exactly.



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Feb 24 2020, 07:59

Executive Director of the Republic Institute, co-founder of the All-Ukrainian Active Community Initiative, participant in the fifth set of the School of Strategic Architect

Jun 27 2019, 09:23


Daniel Pink is the author of four world bestsellers. His books have been translated into 34 languages. In 2013, Daniel was included in the list of the best business thinkers Thinkers 50.

June 5 2020, 03:46

Mykola Palienko, CEO and co-founder of EVO, a graduate of the School of Strategic Architect at the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School, described how his company manages not only to stay afloat during quarantine, but also to launch new products and maintain business profitability.

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