“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…
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 –
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
My 2012 Tag Clouds from my blog and my Twitter feed show what has been colouring my conversations this year. From Collaboration to Partnerships from Innovation – by way of social media, super teams and creativity.
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.