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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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To Sell Is Human –So Does Collaboration Make Us Superhuman? Dan Pink, At The RSA

“Always be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention — do I have your attention? Interest — are you interested? I know you are. You close! Or you hit the bricks!” Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross

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We All Work In Sales. Some, More Effectively Than Others

Sell. Sale. Sold. Four letter words. And as Dan Pink pointed out at a recent talk at The RSA, for most of us the whole notion of sales is still imbued with all of the worst connotations of pressure and aggression so famously portrayed by Alec Baldwin’s Blake in Glengarry Glen Ross. Sales is something seen as quite vulgar. Yet – persuasion and relationship building, no matter how you look at it, is still the most essential ingredient of personal and organisational success. Leadership, innovation, change – it all comes down to selling. Dan Pink shows that sales is not what it used to be and whether we like it or not,  it is in fact, profoundly human. I agree – and what is more, I believe that if sales is human, the ability to build and nurture great creative collaborations – is superhuman…

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Seven Rules For Building Effective Marketing Workshops

Seven Rules for Building More Effective Marketing Meetings, Seminars, Workshops and Conferences

The leader of the brainstorm can sometimes dominate the thinking..
Don’t Led The Wrong People Run Your Marketing Workshop

I recently published a guest post in the excellent TrinityP3 website (one of the world’s leading consultancies on agency management & marketing procurement) –  where I examined what it is that makes for good and bad marketing meetings, workshops and seminars. You can read the full post – here.  This is based in my experience over the years as both a participant and leader of such sessions – and my reflections on what works and what does not. My own work in developing MarketingCafe is very much a result of this understanding – and putting it into practice.

Below is a summary of the Seven Rules For Building An Effective Marketing Workshop

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What Happened To The Office Of The Future? Ben Hammersley Speaking At The RSA

How can we build collaborative teams but avoid the negative side effects of too much technology and lack of peace that Ben Hammersley describes?

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Does The Latest Technology And Modern Office Design Really Promote Better Collaboration?

The founding editor of WIRED Magazine, Kevin Kelly, once said; ‘the problem of the future will not be that we cannot connect – it will be that we cannot disconnect’. Super fast  computer technology and the network economy has not just become a tool for work – it has become the work itself. It is a case of learn to be a geek or get used to working for one. No matter what it says in the email footer, we all work in IT – and moonlight in media production. The dominance of technology in the workplace has changed how and where we do things. From the cubicle to the funky break out area and from the WiFi café to the Skype call work has increasingly changed to fit the needs of the machines. In a recent talk at The RSA an excellent Ben Hammersley explored how this evolved and whether the modern office is as creative and collaborative as it once promised to be…

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How Building Trust Creates Partnerships & Innovation: The 2013 GE Innovation Barometer

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Without Trust Good Relationships Are Difficult To Start

Now in its third year, the 2013 General Electric Innovation Barometer, a global survey of the barriers and drivers of innovation, once again reinforces the vital role of partnerships and collaboration to successful innovation. The Partnership Paradox remains too; innovation requires partnerships, many commentators extol their value, leaders and CEO’s desire them but most individuals and organisations struggle to build them. A lack of trust seems a constant reason why these valuable marketing relationships are often so hard to secure yet often so easy to lose.

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The Best Marketing, Collaboration And Innovation Articles, Research And Blogs From 2012

I’ve compiled a list of my top articles, research and comments from 2012 covering marketing, collaboration, innovation and partnerships.

best of the year starThe 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

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