In a recent article published in Entrepreneur magazine, Sir Richard Branson explains why the best entrepreneurs and marketers seek out new conversations, new ideas and new ways of doing things. A common ‘myth’ of innovation and creativity is the belief in the lone creative genius toiling away on their masterpiece. In reality – most breakthroughs require smart, highly motivated, highly communicative, diverse and argumentative small teams of people, energised by good leaderships and working with good processes. This paragraph from this piece from Branson explains it brilliantly;
” Many people think that an entrepreneur is someone who operates alone, overcoming challenges and bringing his idea to market through sheer force of personality. This is completely inaccurate. Few entrepreneurs — scratch that: almost no one — ever achieved anything worthwhile without help. To be successful in business, you need to connect and collaborate and delegate.Finding ways to meet with people in the real world and build business relationships is becoming ever more important in the digital age. While in some industries it’s possible for employees to limit their communications to email and, if they wish, avoid interacting with colleagues (and their managers), that’s not possible for entrepreneurs, since relationships built on trust are vital to doing business.”
“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…
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.
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.
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.