The first true twinkles of December frost appearing in the fields reminds me that its time to review 2012. The year was not easy for many and perhaps more about challenge and tricky opportunities for most. But it was a year with some great stuff too. I’ve here compiled my list of top articles, research and comments from 2012 covering marketing, collaboration, innovation and partnerships. What were your top articles of the year? Who would you pick? What would you recommend or suggest I add?
In no particular order… here are my top picks for 2012
Effective teams are often not composed of easy-going types. And some degree of ‘creative abrasion’ may be a requirement if you are seeking genuine excellence. Collaboration is not always about getting along but it’s always about peak performance. And when it comes to effectively innovating in the social era, high performance team-work is still its foundation.
Are you a believer? Can social media help energise your innovation efforts? Or are you sceptical? Are you yet to be convinced? Can unified collaboration (UC) and other modern media tools become more than just complicated gossip and file sharing? Do you really have faith in the value of social media to help power innovation?
I was delighted to be a co-developer and contributor to the Challenge Series of white papers and discussions. The first two papers are now available to download as PDF’s from the main Benchstone Website – or click on the images below to download your copies.
< Marketing And The Evolution of Collaboration
This paper contains a review of the recent thinking and research relating to collaboration and innovation and features my interview and discussion with Duncan Thomas, the founder of digital agency – Pomegranate Group and Steve Hemmings from Realpoint Consulting. We explore why successful collaboration is often so difficult and what kind of skills and behaviour need to be developed.
Can Marketers Win With Gamification? >
This paper explores how the psychology and tactics used by games designers and entrepreneurs can be used by marketers and businesses to improve their relationships with users, customers and other stakeholders. The white paper contains some of the history (and controversy) behind the use of gamification within marketing – and a look at how marketers can avoid the hype and use the smart gaming tactics to add value to their innovation efforts.
What are the modern challenges you think marketers now face? Please comment – and let us know if you have marketing topics that you think need to be questioned. Or, if you would like to contribute to the future editions of the Challenge Series, please get in touch.
In challenging times and shifting markets the natural instinct of many is to focus on what they can control and the attention inevitably turns to rest on the internal and the concrete. However – research published by International Journal of Innovation Management shows that it is a collaborative and open approach that is the most effective way to innovate in turbulent times. The question we ask is, do people have the collaboration skills to build increasingly valuable and difficult to replace, partners and allies?
It is the powerful and traditional organisations that will lose out to those that are smaller, nimbler and more connected. In her recent essay and pod cast the excellent Nilofer Merchant describes how in the Social Era the herd of fast-moving gazelles will beat the 800lb gorilla. And with this in mind, she has also written the obituary for Traditional Marketing Strategy. RIP, Traditional Strategy: 1930-2012. We loved your work – and it was great knowing you…
History shows those who can collaborate most effectively prosper the most and no matter how good you are at your chosen craft it pays to be skilled in working well with others. ‘Team Geek’ – authored by two senior members of Google’s engineering team is an excellent, highly readable and useful guide for software professionals – on collaboration, leadership and team work. You don’t have to be a geek to read this book but it may help…
This is an excellent video of a recent presentation from Stefan Lindegaard in which he discusses how Open Innovation requires purposefully connecting and building the right networks. He points to the leading work by brands such as Lego and Proctor and Gamble who use crowdsourcing and open fluid communications across and outside their businesses to build their innovation successes. As Lindegaard says in this video; “You can’t have a strong innovation culture unless you have a strong networking culture”.
In April I wrote a piece identifying what I call the Collaboration Paradox: whilst senior marketers and CEO’s agree greater internal and external collaborative behaviour is required to reach their innovation goals, research shows that most people and organisations are not equipped to do it. And recently a senior business leader raised a related paradoxical point: whilst more executives than ever are trained in business studies to effectively manage operations, units and teams – why is there a worrying lack of creativity, customer focus, innovation and entrepreneurship?