The CollaborativeEdge – Part Two: The Programme

The CollaborativeEdge Programme focuses upon sharpening the key relationship skills so critical to the success of innovation and business development projects. It’s a one-day Programme, ideal for marketing, sales, innovation and business development teams – and any executive or team responsible for managing high value strategic relationships.

Its Always Been About Connections

Ideas Are Better When They're Connected.

The ability to connect with others and build cohesive ideas and plans – either across the business or with external contacts – is more important than ever. Merchants, engineers artists and entrepreneurs have always realised it is not what you know – but who you know and how you effectively you can work with them. Yet there is a paradox – a collaborative paradox. Research consistently shows a lack of collaboration skills – and that in large organisations too many important projects fail due to ineffective relationship management across silos and externally with key partners.  Forrester Research’s survey of marketing executives in 2011 highlighted that the biggest blockers of innovation were ‘Poor External Collaboration’ (30%) and ‘Poor Internal Collaboration’ (33%)

With innovation and commercial progress so driven by the ability to collaborate a lack of skills in this area is a threat to growth and cause for organisational weakness. It is for all these reasons that Benchstone recently launched the CollaborativeEdge Programme – a tailored approach to sharpening up the collaboration skills.

A Tailored Four Module Programme To Sharpen The Collaborative Edge

The Four CollaborativeEdge Modules of the Programme cover; (1)  Awareness and Perception, (2) Conversation, (3) Innovation Culture and (4) Key Relationship Management.  At the heart of the Programme is the CollaborationCafe – a workshop method that leads participants on focused conversation, building of trustempathy & listening, questioning and problem solving.  It’s not  brainstorming – but an activity to promote conversation and purposeful discussion. As well as being a means to learn and discuss the key concepts of collaboration and innovation  – it’s a valuable way for participants to practice their own critical listening and conversation skills too.

By building greater and more directed collaboration across the business – organisations gain a Collaborative Advantage – that can lead to better business development, problem solving & product development. But the programme  does not just benefit the organisation – improving participant’s collaboration skills is a valuable benefit for their career development too.

 Your Only Unique Career Advantage..

A key theme for the Programme is the difference Collaboration Skills can make to an individual’s personal ability.  As the Programme states; ‘your ability to effectively manage your relationships is the only UNIQUE CAREER ADVANTAGE you have’. Why? Because commercial skills, qualifications and knowledge can be copied or replaced – and perhaps more cost effectively too. But – personal knowledge of & influence upon key relationships – and how to manage and get things done with or through them, is difficult to replicate. Building and managing your own network, a personal portfolio of connections – inside and outside the business is a very unique career advantage – that gives you ‘an edge’.

The CollaborativeEdge Programme has been built by Andrew Armour and Stephen Hemmings. For further information please visit The CollaborativeEdge or contact Andrew Armour

Author: Andrew Armour

Andrew Armour is a marketing and media professional, a specialist in business partnerships and the Founder of the consulting business - Benchstone Limited. His career spans from the UK music industry to the America's Cup, from winning agency pitches to securing key digital content deals. He is married to Viv, lives in Hampshire and works in London.

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