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.
“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.
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.
“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;
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.
“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
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…
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…
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.
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