Have you met The Collaborative Tribe?

The Collaborative Tribe is a series of 1 minute videos to communicate the values of Dassault Systèmes V6 PLM solutions mixed with some fun.  I’ve embedded the 1st episode below and invite you to go to http://thecollaborativetribe.3ds.com, join the tribe, and watch other episodes.

If you think about it, working in tribe mode could be very efficient for companies. A tribe is a community (what a trendy word!) that  shares common interests, a common language and rules. A tribe works as a  team for the interest of the whole community. Isn’t what companies could develop more and more within their teams around their projects?

Because I’m working on this campaign I’ve seen all of the episodes.  In all of them you’ll see the  six characters, communicating and collaborating in 3D, evolving their ideas thanks to their collective intelligence and testing them in “real life” conditions (sometimes unexpected events may occur!).

What do you think about The Collaborative Tribe?  What business messages do you see in the film?



Nicolas MNicolas Maritan works for Dassault Systèmes WW Marketing.




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  • What is the big deal? You say “If you think about it, working in tribe mode could be very efficient for companies.” like it is a new idea. Is this the point you were trying to make?

    Yes, of course, people work together to develop products. This is called a team and it has been going forever. What is new here other than the very cute videos?

  • Delahaye

    My dear Vuuch friend, there is a very difference between what you called a \"team\" and a tribe. You can find a lot of litterature about it already. A team has a boss that has been designated and who cascades orders down. Adding a team member is just his decision. A tribe is a group of people who share a passion. They are proud and very sensitive to who and what is exchanged. Why is it important ? Because there is a fundamental initial process when ideas and breakthrough concepts emerge that can then be more efficient. I am responding to your post from our user conference in Orlando where customers like Underarmour, GE, P&G, Celestica came on stage and confirmed that it was a key new step for PLM. Thanks for your interest ! B.

  • Dan Raun

    I participated in an event called the Collaborative Innovation Forum (www.collaborativeinnovationforum.com) on Nov. 8 on the day prior to DSCC. Noted bloggers on innovation, people from industry, consultants, and Dassault Systemes explored the concept of ‘Hyper-Social Organizations’ and the effect on social innovation and product development.
    Independent of DS, the word ‘tribe’ was used to describe something quite different and more powerful than a team. For instance, Jody Giles, the CIO of Under Armour, describes his company as a ‘bunch of jocks’ and stated that it would be very difficult to work there if you weren’t an athlete – the culture is so strong. That’s a tribe! He showed a picture of a college student who had painted an Under Armour logo on his chest in his school colors. Tribe member? Yes! Also, there are Facebook sites out there for people ‘Addicted to Under Armour’ that is not even sponsored or originated by them. Tribe members? Definitely!
    You see, once you think ‘tribe’ not ‘team’, you open a lot of possibilities to tap into tribal behaviors such as fairness, reciprocity, loyalty, PASSION. Much more powerful than people who assemble via an org chart. It is a movement that cannot be stopped. If you told a team to stop work on a project, they would. If you told a tribe to stop, they’d go somewhere else and work on it. Big difference.
    Please go to the website http://www.collaborativeinnovationforum.com and take a look at the blogs that were posted live from the event. And the pictures, too.

  • I like the juxtoposition of team vs. tribe. Especially Dan’s point:

    “You see, once you think ‘tribe’ not ‘team’, you open a lot of possibilities to tap into tribal behaviors such as fairness, reciprocity, loyalty, PASSION. Much more powerful than people who assemble via an org chart.”

  • Modern tribes or communities are nomadic by interest and based on social contracts among members. With large tribes, people do not always know one another. And as Bruno said, tribes usually have more of an egalitarian form of leadership. When you can leverage tribes as part of your business, they help you with things that are typically not part of their jobs. When they get involved they do not always have a specific role and their involvement does not always have a beginning and end. Tribes can become movements that cannot be stopped.

    Teams on the other hand are bound together by a market contract – a monetary contract with the company that employs them. They are paid to do the work and usually know one another. The company that employs them has a clear and usually hierarchical leadership structures and they structure the work around fixed processes with a beginning and end. Teams will rarely turn into movements that have the same passion and power as tribes.

  • OK a tribe or community are driven by passion and a team is driven by $. That said it is not fair to say a team does not have passion for what they do. Following the above a tribe is a loose group that is connected through passion. That said a tribe does not deliver a product to market. A tribe might comment on a product or provide ideas of how to improve a product but a tribe does not do real work. A team does real work. This being said how can V6 be focused on a tribe?

  • First off, a disclosure that I should have made with my previous comment – Dassault Systemes/Enovia is a client of ours.

    That said, I agree – you cannot have a tribe do all the work…you need a team of employees and sometimes even a benevolent dictator to turn things into actionable product plans and roadmaps…and therein lies another challenge – how to make sure that tribes feel heard when they give you feedback in off-cycle times, when your product roadmap is locked and loaded for months.

    Dell, Adobe, Pfizer and some other companies are early innovators in dealing with this issue. They use time-bound and directed innovation techniques to focus the efforts of the community/tribe on where it makes a real difference from a product lifecyle point of view.

  • OK so a team does work and the tribe comments.

  • Bruno

    The point has never been to put the team up against the tribe. This is just another characteristic that creates a different level of interaction. Obviously the community tools bring these interactions to a different level.

  • Hello Vuuch,

    The Tribe concept is not new but it takes more and more importance with the rise of social networks. As Dan said it is something quite different and more powerful than just a team.
    It is about connecting people together and enabling anyone to participate in the development of a common idea or interest. In my opinion, a Team is more closed as you need to define specific members from the beginning and limit new members.

    The other point is how can technology “tighten” tribes? And one of the key element is enabling “Communication”.

    I will just quote an extract from Q&A Tribes (Seth Godin) : “Advances in technology have enabled the emergence of many new tools to facilitate connection between people (email, phone, ….). All of these tools, however, are not created equal. Some common tools such as the telephone can facilitate fluid communication, but make it difficult to organize large groups simultaneously.”

    So what is new here is that a platform like V6 provide the right infrastructure to connect people (tribes), ease their communication (3D as universal language, Online) and collaboration and boost their innovation. And behind the joke at the end of the little movies there is a clear message : “do not forget to put the consumer at the heart of your innovation cycle to avoid product fail”. In other words your consumers should be part of your tribes if you don’t want to miss your target. V6 is the unique platform to connect every stakeholders of your product development.