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  • AutorenbildKlemens Ruoss

Accomplices for innovation and new business models

Countless times I've plunged into an adventure with "accomplices". Ideas that lead to innovation and new business models require extraordinary approaches. Spontaneous acquaintances discover common interests and needs, make a decision, forge a plan and act.

As children and adolescents we grabbed any opportunity to "invent something". During our apprenticeship and studies, together with new friends we realised good ideas but huge nonsense as well. Out of this youthful thirst for action, countless billion-dollar ventures have emerged or deeds have been carried out that have become world-famous. Spontaneous encounters gave rise to unconventional ideas that achieved a common goal using unusual methods.

The Great Train Robbery (1963), the Zürcher Postraub (1997) are classical cases of complicity. "Complicity", by criminal law, is defined as the three-step process of making a decision, planning and carrying out a criminal act. (Wikipedia)

However "complicity" no longer only refers to illegal collective actions, but also "...... an active, business and vision-oriented concept with which a specific goal can be achieved informally and quickly ..." 1). For the cultural theorist Prof. Dr. Gesa Ziemer complicity is a “constructive-creative” “crossing of boundaries”, which results in the development of “alternative structures” and “innovations”.

Gesa Ziemer defines the following 11 rules for Complicity. 1)


  1. never act alone, at least there are always two of them

  2. do not appear as such, but as loners.

  3. don't seek each other, they find each other.

  4. act tactically, less strategically.

  5. transform insecurity into pleasure and follow affects rather than emotions.

  6. develop creativity through this pleasure: in uncertainty, risk and play.

  7. pay attention to the informal and communicate in other ways.

  8. are cool and passionate at the same time (similar to lovers)

  9. pursue a common interest that benefits both (everyone).

  10. are an example of the strength of the weak.

  11.  … play with power.

further rules / variations could be

  • have a pragmatic willingness to learn.

  • share an initial moment that throws them into a community of fate.

  • establish temporary structures, less permanent relationships.

  • develop a strong codex that includes them and excludes others.

  • live in dependence on each other, can also be blackmailed.

Accomplices are life and survival tacticians, they activate the small in the big. Unfortunately, the spirit of complicity gets lost more and more over the years in professional life or in one's own company and leaves its place to conformity. Need and the struggle for survival, especially in these days (2020), should motivate to spontaneously find accomplices with whom new deeds can be "hatched". Interactions in online networks are particularly suitable for this.

Klemens Ruoss, 26.10.2020

1) Source: "Komplizenschaft - Andere Arbeitsformen - (K)ein Leitfaden" - Editors: Andrea Notroff, Erwin Oberhänsli, Gesa Ziemer - ISBN 978-3-906489-08-7

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