In Turbulent Times You Need Open Innovation – And Collaboration Skills

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

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

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..

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

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

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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Stimulating Conversation And The Marketing Cafe

A Good Cafe Conversation Is About More Than The Coffee…

Albert Einstein once said  ‘not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted – counts’. In other words, we are in danger of spending a lot of time measuring and analysing what is not important – whilst ignoring what truly is. The marketing, innovation and sales business is not immune.  A great quantity of noise,  reports, feeds, briefing, planning – and meetings. Lots of meetings. Yet whilst we have a surplus of texts, emails and data we often overlook what is in real short supply – purposeful, collaborative, open and focused – business conversation.

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Building A Collaborative Business

“You have to learn that you make better decisions through collaboration.” John Chambers, CEO and Chairman CISCO. He leads a global technology business with a $40 Billion turnover and his career spans Wang Laboratories and IBM too. But he is now focusing on building better business – through smarter collaboration

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The CollaborativeEdge – Part Two: The Programme

The CollaborativeEdge Programme focuses upon sharpening the key relationship skills so critical to the success of innovation and business development projects. It’s a one-day Programme, ideal for marketing, sales, innovation and business development teams – and any executive or team responsible for managing high value strategic relationships.

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