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Book Review – A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Part One.

In many marketing and innovation environments there is a big lack of good questioning.

‘Why Don’t Companies Train People To Ask Questions?’ – Warren Berger

qmarkThis is just one of the many great questions that Berger raises in this wonderful book that should be essential reading to anyone involved in product development, innovation or marketing performance. Linking to the themes from Berger’s main website – it explores the role and power of questioning in business, life – and everything. And just as important he examines why is it we seem too often to have forgotten the power of asking the really important questions – just when we need them more than ever? A More Beautiful Question is subtitled ‘the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas’ – and of course in the vast realm of innovation literature, the role of inquiry and problem solving is a common theme. Curiosity (and some would argue friction and argument, as discussed in my interview with Gordon Torr in 2013) is the foundation of fresh ideas and solution. Continue reading “Book Review – A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Part One.”

Richard Branson – On Why Entrepreneurs Need Collaboration

In a recent article published in Entrepreneur magazine, Sir Richard Branson explains why the best entrepreneurs and marketers seek out new conversations, new ideas and new ways of doing things.  A common ‘myth’ of innovation and creativity is the belief in the lone creative genius toiling away on their masterpiece. In reality – most breakthroughs require smart, highly motivated, highly communicative, diverse and argumentative small teams of people, energised by good leaderships and working with good processes. This paragraph from this piece from Branson explains it brilliantly; 

” Many people think that an entrepreneur is someone who operates alone, overcoming challenges and bringing his idea to market through sheer force of personality. This is completely inaccurate. Few entrepreneurs — scratch that: almost no one — ever achieved anything worthwhile without help. To be successful in business, you need to connect and collaborate and delegate.Finding ways to meet with people in the real world and build business relationships is becoming ever more important in the digital age. While in some industries it’s possible for employees to limit their communications to email and, if they wish, avoid interacting with colleagues (and their managers), that’s not possible for entrepreneurs, since relationships built on trust are vital to doing business.”

To can read the full piece here: Richard Branson Is Not Going Alone. 

Book Reviews Part Two: Social, Digital And Innovation

Six Books That Have Crossed My Desk Recently
Six Books That Have Crossed My Desk Recently

In the second of this two-part series I am reviewing three more excellent books; ‘The Little Black Book of Innovation’ by Scott D Anthony, ‘Likeable Social Media’ by Dave Kerpen and ‘Pioneers of Digital’ by Paul Springer and Mel Carson. Together they deliver some great answers  to relevant questions, such as; What are the deadly sins of innovation? How should a brand develop digital content and engage with consumers in social media? And what kind of people helped create digital landmarks such as iTunes, Lastminute.com and TED? Read on to find our more. Or, alternatively go to Part One to see my reviews of ‘Strategic Partnering’ by Luc Bardin, ‘Brandscaping’ by Andrew M Davis and ‘Media Franchising’ by Derek Johnson by clicking right here…

Continue reading “Book Reviews Part Two: Social, Digital And Innovation”

Book Reviews Part One: Partnership, Franchising And Brandscaping

In the first of this two-part series I am reviewing three recent books; ‘Strategic Partnering’ by Luc Bardin, ‘Brandscaping’ by Andrew M Davis and ‘Media Franchising’ by Derek Johnson.

Six Books That Have Crossed My Desk Recently
and  Six Books That Have Crossed My Desk Recently

I try to keep my radar tuned-in whilst trying to avoid too much of the noise. And for that reason there is still something essentially useful about a well structured book with quality content. My lecturing work at Tech Music School in Fulham and developing a paper on media industry collaboration for Henley Management School has seen me explore a number of interesting avenues from a range of great writers recently. From the latest thinking on strategic partnering and innovation to the lessons to be learnt from digital pioneers and brand & media franchising.

In the first of this two-part series I am reviewing; ‘Strategic Partnering’ by Luc Bardin, ‘Brandscaping’ by Andrew M Davis and ‘Media Franchising’ by Derek Johnson.

Continue reading “Book Reviews Part One: Partnership, Franchising And Brandscaping”

Doing: Why Innovative Companies Collaborate With Partners

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.  Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.” – Bruce Lee.  

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Innovation Starts By Looking For New Connections Outside Of Your Organisation

The development of focused relationships with partners, allies and networks is a greater driver of innovation than countless rounds of internal brainstorming and intranet posts asking for everyone to be a bit more creative. Yet often individuals and companies cannot get over that first collaborative relationship step and move towards acting, testing and building something new, that could be greater than the sum of their two parts. Bruce Lee, knew a thing or two about the need to act and not just think.


Continue reading “Doing: Why Innovative Companies Collaborate With Partners”

My Blog Cloud 2013 – Not A Bitcoin Or Selfie Or Twerking In Sight.

blog cloud 2013 B2013 was a year that saw conversations speckled with comments on recovery, growth and creativity. The Economist says that Selfie and Bitcoin were the big words of the year. And many learnt the delights of twerking. But the big words for me last year were Data, Cafe Workshops and Collaboration. And according to my blog tag cloud, there was a fairly large amount of innovation, creativity, working and reading too.

The Best Marketing, Innovation & Collaboration Pieces From 2013

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Here’s To A 2014 Full Of Collaboration, Innovation And Partnerships…

I was lucky to meet and work with some great people in 2013. From 4CM to Versatile Connections and from Henley Business School and Powwownow to Krems University in Vienna and Tech Music School in Fulham. 2013 was a year of Cafe Workshops and Collaborative Consulting. And a year of some brilliant marketing writing from people I was lucky enough to meet too. Here are my picks for the best writing I saw from 2013.

And here’s to more in 2014.

Continue reading “The Best Marketing, Innovation & Collaboration Pieces From 2013”

Does Remote Working Need More Flexible Thinking? Reviewing The RSA Paper – ‘The Flex Factor’

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What Does Remote Working Really Look Like?

Does ‘The Flex Factor’, a recent paper published by The RSA offer a balanced exploration of the pros and cons of remote and flexible working? Whilst I am a big fan of the use of new collaboration technologies and they may open up new avenues of innovation, Yahoo’s recent decision to restrict remote working shows that not everyone has the same view on what flexible working really looks like … Continue reading “Does Remote Working Need More Flexible Thinking? Reviewing The RSA Paper – ‘The Flex Factor’”

Stimulating Videos On Collaboration & Innovation

I’ve been using some videos within my recent workshops and people have been asking for the links. So, here are the main ones I am using for your reference. If you have any others you would like to add – please contact me. Thanks. AA

To see more.

Continue reading “Stimulating Videos On Collaboration & Innovation”

On Mixing Creativity With Innovation : An Interview With Gordon Torr

Collaborating, on the foundation of a bad idea, will not create the right outcome no matter how good the interaction between the players. And even with a good idea you need the right management and perhaps structure to nurture it.

 “Today, reliability is no longer a key to competitive advantage. The organisations that will become the names of this century will be renowned for sustained, large-scale, efficient innovation.” – As Paul Adler wrote in Harvard Business Review in 2011;

No Shortage Of Encouragement To Innovate And Collaborate.
No Shortage Of Encouragement To Innovate And Collaborate.

Everybody is a creative and everyone wants an innovative business. At least, that seems to be the case if you read any business magazine or scan the business shelf in the airport bookshop. Modern marketing leadership seems to be all about the ability to manage innovation.  But are we mixing up the spark of creativity with the process of innovation? Recently I met with and interviewed Gordon Torr, the ex-global Creative Director of JWT to discuss how we define and work with creative people & innovation.

Continue reading “On Mixing Creativity With Innovation : An Interview With Gordon Torr”

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