A recent report on the state of collaboration for the purpose of innovation indicated that Australia is ranked 23 out of 26 OECD countries. This ranking is even poorer with regard to international collaboration (despite evidence showing that ‘distance’ is not really a factor). So, a long journey awaits.  Globally, there are more and more interesting lessons we can all take on board.  This selection of recommended articles covers some of those areas. My favourite are the two pieces by the former CEO of Campbell Soup Company who clearly gets the idea of better integration of philanthropy and business and the piece by Anna Ystrom who has won me as a fan for getting leadership in innovation well worked out.

Why Generosity Is the Most Powerful Networking Tool

This piece explores what many take for granted, what some are intrigued by and what some reject.  Regardless, increasing evidence relating to human behaviour points in the direction of the arguments put forward by the Adam Grant in his book Give and Take. This brief analysis is provided by Leigh Buchanan, the former editor of Harvard Business Review and now editor at large of Inc. magazine.

Innovation Isn’t Just About New Products

“To achieve sustainable growth, companies must better integrate product innovation with business model, process, and service innovations.” is what Vijay Govindarajan and Jatin Desai argue in this piece. The authors explore some of the key reasons why innovation should be more than about new products.  To me, along with the main argument presented here, this is important for whole host of reasons.  Collaboration, while itself a platform for innovation, equally can be the end result when organisations think about innovation in the long term. Full article here.

Collaboration Is the Future

I must confess that I did not commission this piece despite the article’s title sounding almost like ROADMENDER’s motto.  It also just happens that this comes after one of the first ‘Colab Summits’ which is exciting to see.  For those who regularly follow ROADMENDER, I would like to announce that ROADMENDER is planning to a host similar event in 2014 which would be Australia’s first.  More from the “Colab Summit” Jeanne Bonner had this to say here.

Why philanthropy is R&D for business

No matter how many times we hear this, it seems that many struggle to grasp the true potential philanthropy offers to commercial business.  In my own experience, one major stumbling block is the way commercial business integrates corporate social responsibility into its overall strategy.  It also is not something that many organisations translate well into the whole-of-organisation culture.  It is not sufficient to have just an internal champion. All key people in any serious business should be ‘philanthropy literate’. For the full article by Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, click here.

How Google’s Flexible Workspace Ignites Creative Collaboration (On Wheels)

The topic of flexible workplaces is almost always guaranteed to raise division among managers.  What a flexible workplace means in each organisation (context) seems to be the key to making it work.  Regardless, the people at Google seem to have found a way to make it work for collaboration which is a lesson worth noting. Full article by Miles Kohrman here.

Open Innovation Collaboration Puts New Demands on Leadership

This is one of the best pieces on leadership and innovation that I have seen in a very long time.  The author, Anna Ystrom, in her pursuit of understanding what kind of leadership is necessary for collaboration, focused on what she calls the space ‘in-between’ and “has started out from a unique perspective by focusing on the collaboration between organisations itself instead of looking at the interests of an individual organisation”. A must read for seriously dedicated collaboration practitioners. Full article here.

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