Book Reviews Part One: Partnership, Franchising And Brandscaping

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.

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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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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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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’”

On Mixing Creativity With Innovation : An Interview With Gordon Torr

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

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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

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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Challenging Marketing Summaries; Gamification, Collaboration And Innovation

The Challenges Of Gamification, Collaboration And Innovation
The Challenges Of Gamification, Collaboration And Innovation

The recent Challenge Series of White Papers I contributed to focused on three topics that are set to test marketers in 2013. The rise of Gamification, the need for Collaboration – and the demands for Innovation. You can download the full white papers from the Benchstone website–  but here are some of the top facts, statistics, comments and quotes from the three papers in the series.

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