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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The CollaborativeEdge – Part One: The Paradox

Cap Gemini recently reported that over 80% of CEO’s they surveyed identified idea sharing as the single most important element of innovation – and yet only 16% said they had the right culture to do it. And General Electric’s (GE) survey of top global marketers revealed that whilst 86% of them agreed that partnerships were the most important element of innovation – only 21% were able to build them.  We call this ‘The Collaborative Paradox’:  there is an increasing demand for innovation, which is driven by smarter relationships – but due to a lack of internal and external collaboration skills, there is often a failure to innovate.

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The Partnership Paradox: On GE’s 2012 Innovation Monitor

High value, high risk relationships are not easy – and there is risk and conflict. A good business collaboration needs both commercial savvy and emotional intelligence.

When surveyed 80% of top executives agree their organisations need to innovate differently and 86% say that  partnerships and collaboration is the key to innovation. Yet – only 21% say they are developing them. In their latest 2012 Innovation Monitor, General Electric call this – The Partnership Paradox. So why does it exist? And what can we do to change it?

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86% of Top Marketers Say Partnerships Are The Key To Innovation

Don’t take my word for it. After a comprehensive global study partnerships and collaborations have just been identified as the most important ingredient to successful marketing and innovation by one of the most powerful marketers on earth – Beth Comstock, CMO of General Electric.

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