In many marketing and innovation environments there is a big lack of good questioning.
‘Why Don’t Companies Train People To Ask Questions?’ – Warren Berger
This is just one of the many great questions that Berger raises in this wonderful book that should be essential reading to anyone involved in product development, innovation or marketing performance. Linking to the themes from Berger’s main website – it explores the role and power of questioning in business, life – and everything. And just as important he examines why is it we seem too often to have forgotten the power of asking the really important questions – just when we need them more than ever? A More Beautiful Question is subtitled ‘the power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas’ – and of course in the vast realm of innovation literature, the role of inquiry and problem solving is a common theme. Curiosity (and some would argue friction and argument, as discussed in my interview with Gordon Torr in 2013) is the foundation of fresh ideas and solution. Continue reading “Book Review – A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Part One.”
Collaborating, on the foundation of a bad idea, will not create the right outcome no matter how good the interaction between the players. And even with a good idea you need the right management and perhaps structure to nurture it.
“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…
How can we build collaborative teams but avoid the negative side effects of too much technology and lack of peace that Ben Hammersley describes?
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…
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?
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.
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”.
Many leaders the required skills to collaborate meaningfully
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?
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.
“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…