Why Superteams Win In The Social Era Of Business – ‘Superteams’ by Khoi Tu

What often comes as a surprise is that great teams are often not comprised of steady and easy-going types. By their very nature – high achievers are not satisfied with being average and accepting easy solutions.

Great Teams Stay Well Connected…

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.

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Can Innovators Put Their Faith In Social Media?

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?

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Collaboration And Gamificaiton White Papers – PDF’s Available For Free Download

Collaboration and Gamification White Papers – FREE PDF’s available for download.

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 Turbulent Times You Need Open Innovation – And Collaboration Skills

No matter how good the strategic aim, research and even the fit with a partner or ally – it will be the personal skills and behaviour of the relationship managers that will determine outcome.

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?

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The Death Of Traditional Strategy – And The Rise Of Connected Business

Nilofer Merchant says; ‘value can come from any individuals – inside and outside the organisation’. She explains that co-creation, collaboration and open innovation are more relevant than traditional business school text books.

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…

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NEW Book Review – ‘Team Geek’ by Fitzpatrick & Collins-Sussman – O’Reilly Publishing

Whether you’re a technical expert looking to build more influence, or a project manager or marketer who has to work with highly creative and talented people, ‘Team Geek’ by Fitzpatrick and Collins-Susmann will provide some excellent guidance and practical tips to help you deliver more.

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…

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Video: Stefan Lindegaard – Innovation Needs Networking & Connecting..

Organisations need to nurture and build the collaboration skills in their people to enable them to effectively work both across the often closed silos of business – and outside of it…

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”.

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Why Collaboration Is Not The Same

Many leaders the required skills to collaborate meaningfully

Good Things Happen When Ideas Connect.

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?

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Honesty And Cooperation In Business Relationships

Martin Nowak points out that cooperation is achieved through direct and indirect reciprocity and an ability to make sacrifices and to think selflessly. In plain speech – you have to give up something to get something.

The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain.

The simple logic of this famous line is the wise advice that good parents have offered to their little treasures for generations. But how important is honesty in building & maintaining valuable relationships? Is honesty always the best policy? And is it natural – or something we have to practice? The answers are far from simple and the truth may surprise you…

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Simplicity Is The Ultimate Business Sophistication

A sensible maxim attributed to Leonardo da Vinci is ‘Simplicity, is the ultimate sophistication’. Its common sense wisdom is simple sophistication itself – as befits one of history’s greatest geniuses.  And yet so often in business otherwise sensible people, are quick to complicate and add layers of confusion. If in doubt – we add a feature, build more reports and more stuff. I recently took part in one of  the excellent Splash events organised by Working Knowledge to engage students in business that was held at Weston College – and one of the things that struck me was their ability to focus on the simple. In large part I think this is because none of the students were tainted with our often misplaced love of complexity…
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