Harvard Business Review’s Spring Edition of ‘OnPoint’ is all about collaboration. For the collaboration–minded, this is like a perfect slice of heaven. Let me share. Philip Evans and Bob Wolf wrote an extensive piece on the rules of collaboration. The piece itself was originally published back in 2005 and evidently is still just as relevant. One interesting thing they share was in relation to the way successful companies understand innovation and collaboration. The authors cite Toyota president Fujio Cho who remarked that “Detroit people are far more talented than people in Toyota, but we take averagely talented people and make them work as spectacular teams”. The authors were discussing the broader points of collaboration in car manufacturing sectors and wanted to make the point that, as they said, ‘the network is the innovator’. The point of the link between collaboration, innovation, productivity and business resilience cannot be understated. With that in mind, the following recommended readings may add a bit to the collaboration tool box every company or enterprise should have.

"Every company strives to be as innovative as possible, but what does that mean to you?" Source:

“Every company strives to be as innovative as possible, but what does that mean to you?”

First Americas Competitiveness Exchange Encourages Collaboration, Drives Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Western Hemisphere

Competition and collaboration aren’t typically mentioned in the same breath. For nations and businesses competing to innovate and prosper in a global marketplace, these concepts seem completely antithetical to one another. That’s why the first Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Exchange) is such a unique and exciting partnership. As part of the Exchange, senior officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) last week led a delegation of 45 business and government leaders from 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries on a tour across the Southeast United States…READ ON


Collaboration & The Art Of Creative Disagreement

We talked previously about collaboration and the art of creative disagreement. That means finding collaborative partners who will not be yesmen, who will challenge you, and push the project to a new level. I’ve been fortunate to have some wonderful collaborative relationships, both in theater and film. I started in theater writing plays for my brother Chris’ theater company, igLoo, in Chicago. Having a brother as a collaborator can be tricky, but early on my brother and I were seeing it the same…READ ON


Innovation, collaboration and their citizens make cities smart

A smart city is not just smart technology. “A smart city is a city which can provide- with fewer resources- more efficiency, more services for its citizens and a higher quality of life in a rapidly urbanizing world,” says, Gino Van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. As cities move towards becoming smart cities intricacies of networking, involvement and innovation become a reality. “It has become obvious that we need much more interconnectivity and interaction of all responsibilities within a city and also within businesses to work towards creating smart cities,” says Monika Zimmermann, Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI. Solutions no longer work in a bubble, a city’s needs are never singular and therefore solutions cannot be limited to one sphere…READ ON


Charitable Giving Cools as More Consumers Turn to Responsible Shopping as Way to “Give Back”

In a poll of 1,010 Americans, 30 percent of consumers said they plan to increase the amount of goods and/or services they buy from socially responsible companies in the coming year, a modest uptick from 29 percent in 2013. Meanwhile, only 18 percent plan to increase charitable giving in 2014, a decline from 21 percent in 2013. One in five consumers (19%) said they prefer to “give back” by purchasing socially responsible products, while another 39 percent preferred to split their giving between charities and cause-based brands. When asked to select reasons for preferring socially responsible purchases over charitable contributions, more than half (52%) said it was an easier way for them to give back consistently. Just under half (48%) also reported it was a more effective way to support positive change or make a difference…READ ON


Social and Business Collaboration: A Human Science

Liking is not Leading (IBM)

Liking is not Leading (IBM)

As our businesses become more complex, it’s up to all of us to work harder at humanizing our approach in everything we do. On top of this, as businesses become more social, collaboration is becoming the most critical business competitive advantage. An efficiently run collaborative company isn’t just more nimble; its collective intelligence can innovate faster than any time before. As social enterprises are changing the rules for employees, new tools are helping to break the barrier for disconnected internal structures, giving employees more contextual control. This new contextualization empowers humans to interact naturally in a way that makes sense to them, supported by internal systems – instead of forcing systems to try to make people interact in a way that seems very impersonal and removed from our innate voice…READ ON


Regional collaboration emerges as economic growth strategy

When you work together, you work better. That’s the lesson local officials say they have learned as they try to lift the region out of manufacturing industry declines and a shaky economy. Gone are the days of so-called territorialism, they say, as the perception of nearby communities as fierce competition is now being viewed as an opportunity for a partnership. “That’s really at the crux of the matter,” said Tim Terrentine, a vice president at Southwest Michigan First. “How do we win in this globally, more competitive environment? You can’t do it standing by yourself. And those that believe that you can are quickly becoming irrelevant.”..READ ON


Factors to consider when collaborating with other think tanks

One of the objectives of the The Exchange is to understand why policy research institutes do or do not collaborate, and what determines the success of the collaborations that do take place. After discussing with colleagues from different think tanks around the world, we were able to identify external and internal factors affecting collaboration between our organizations. Moreover, we identified some features related to the type collaboration that should also be considered…READ ON


…and now for something completely different…


Google’s Renewed Amsterdam Office is a Total Playground


Google has created yet another well designed office, this time in the city of Amstersdam. Designed by D/DOCK, the interior speaks to the fun aspects of Dutch culture. There are bicycle carriers, emblems of the royal family and yes, even large ceiling panels resembling the popular stroopwafel dessert. (See Also Inside the Amazing New Google Offices in Tel Aviv). The design inspiration came from the original garage that Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked in when developing Google as Stanford computer science students in the nineties. Interior decor such as graffiti walls, cardboard box lights and a theater room speak to this ‘birth period’ in the Google history…READ ON

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