I am regularly asked whether I think that a new business undertaking, be it a start-up, a social enterprise or a traditional business venture, has a better chance of succeeding with collaboration as part of its strategy. I am inclined to say “Yes”, but with one major qualification; collaboration is not a simple discipline and as such it can’t be engaged as a simple formula to make a new business work. Collaboration is likely to be a strategic asset to any enterprise that approaches it with the right attitude. Working together is one thing; collaborating in the full sense of the word is much more. Some of the selected resources in this week’s edition of recommended reading implicitly confirms this.



Collaboration the key to award-winning business

The classic combination of wine and cheese had a lot to do with why Kris Lloyd ended up as the owner of Woodside Cheese Wrights in 1999. Having worked for her husband’s family winery, Coriole, she was keen to find a new venture that would add value to the core business. With a corporate development background, Lloyd’s grasp of basic cheesemaking skills was limited, to say the least. But she quickly became hooked and despite many mistakes and set-backs, including two years of losses, the small artisan cheesemaker started making headway. Wrapping cheese in seaweed or covering it with flowers attracted many sceptics, but taking risks and innovating have paid off, she says. And, once a male-dominated sphere, there are now many more women joining her as cheesemakers…READ ON


Collaboration Tools for Startups

Starting a company today doesn’t require the massive funding, staffing and resources it used to. It doesn’t have to follow the traditional formula of creating a business plan, pitching to investors, introducing a product and pushing sales and marketing. Harvard Business Review reports that instead of an all-out hard launch after full development, new startup methodologies are more about experimentation, customer feedback, designing, testing, refining and retesting products and services. Making this new startup model possible is new technology and collaboration tools. Everyone that needs to harness the power of a team, group or network to make something happen is using collaboration tools, especially if everyone is not in the same room or even the same country together…READ ON


Social Business Platform Enhances Collaboration

handsSchneider Electric consolidated more than 24 systems into one platform that reaches across IT environments, radically changing the way people work and interact. Communication and collaboration are at the center of today’s business environment, and the stakes grow exponentially for a large multinational conglomerate. At Schneider Electric, which operates in 110 countries under brands such as APC, Pelco and PowerLogic, the need to connect upward of 160,000 employees—and present a unified face to customers and business partners—has led to a comprehensive cloud-based social business platform…READ ON


The power of integration and collaboration

Imagine having two claims adjusters handling every workers’ compensation claim — one managing the medical component, the other handling the indemnity — sitting in different rooms and rarely discussing the claim. Aside from being an extremely inefficient claims management process, not only would the impact on the claim outcome from a cost savings perspective suffer, but the injured employee could be confused, frustrated and ill-served. In most companies today, health insurance, short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD), and absence management are human resources (HR) and employee benefits functions; the responsibility for workers’ compensation rests squarely on the shoulders of the risk management department. They’re classic siloed functions, with minimal collaboration and sometimes even outright animus between the groups…READ ON


Collaboration in the Cloud and Mobile World: Getting Rid Of the Turmoil

We no longer have to be in the same location to collaborate. Technology lets us communicate across time zones, between teams and individuals, as well as internal and external stakeholders. Technology provides us with a 24/7 platform to disclose and discuss what people are working on or contemplating. Technology allows us to put forward our opinions and open up discussion…READ ON


ISIC and Danske Bank announce strategic collaboration

One of the world’s largest student organisations, ISIC, is joining forces with Danske Bank. The first step is to offer student customers an International Student Identity Card and participation in professional events aimed at facilitating student life abroad. From Danske Bank’s point of view, the collaboration is one way of making Danske Bank even more attractive to young customers. Initially, the agreement with ISIC means that student customers get substantial discounts on ISIC cards, which in return make them eligible for discounts on train and flight tickets, shopping, books, computer equipment and more…READ ON


…and now for something completely different…


How A World-Class Heart Surgeon Found The One Leadership Trait Many Businesses Are Missing

heart rateTen years ago, right before he became CEO of the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, 65-year-old Dr. Toby Cosgrove had good reason to believe he’d already acquired all the knowledge and wisdom he needed to excel in his new role. The man, who recently was President Obama’s first choice to take over the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs following the resignation of General Erik Shinseki, could not have been more qualified for the position. And few people in his field, moreover on the planet, had amassed a more stunning list of career achievements. Dr. Cosgrove had earned a Bronze Star as a Vietnam surgeon. He’d performed 22,000 surgeries, patented 30 different medical inventions, created a highly profitable venture capital group, written 450 journal articles, and led the clinic’s cardiac care team that U.S. News & World News Report named best in the nation for 20 consecutive years…READ ON


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