Strategists of all persuasion are well aware of the growing importance of creativity in the solution design process. It’s not only analytical skills that can define competitive strategy. With that in mind, it is useful to reflect on what has become a well-established fact about collaboration: it is a critical precursor to innovation. Many different angles make for good combinatorial play, which is really part of the creative process. It worked for Albert Einstein so there’s no reason why it can’t work for us mere mortals. So, here is another bricolage. Some of the pieces selected are good for stimulating those interested in turning collaboration into competitive advantage. Items like GE’s Global Innovation Barometer 2014 are worth re-reading for, if nothing else, its simple insight that says nearly 80% of global business leaders think, when it comes to collaboration the risk is worth taking (even with issues such as IP protection). Other articles are also offer examples of how collaboration is at the centre of solutions for some serious business challenges.

Sincere thanks to those who have suggested articles for this edition of Roadmender Recommends.


How to Turn Competition Into Collaboration

College football season is almost over… hard to believe huh?! How’d your team do?   The Wolverines had a pretty terrible year… but now we’ve got coach Harbaugh so GO BLUE! All you Buckeye fans, I’m sorry, I had to say it… For the past 8 years whenever I’m in Ohio I always hear, “You went to Michigan?! Ugh that’s awful!” Or I’d be in Michigan and hear, “You’re from Columbus Ohio?! I hate that place!” You see, I grew up in Buckeye land but became a Wolverine, which means I get crapped on from both sides. If I’m in Ohio everyone hates my Michigan gear, if I’m in Michigan I can never mention I’m from Ohio. Not the best!…READ ON


Real-time collaboration may finally blend into business processes


Emerging real-time collaboration tools are becoming integrated into business processes, giving employees one place to go to get their work done. Combining business process with communication tools has been the unified communications pipe dream for a long time, but last year that finally came to fruition with the introduction of real-time collaboration tools — like Unify’s Circuit and Cisco’s Project Squared — that combined UC and social features into one persistent, browser-based platform. Users no longer have to go to separate, siloed tools for their communication and collaboration needs…READ ON


GE Global Innovation Barometer 2014—Insight on Disruption, Collaboration and the Future of Work

ibr-headerCollaboration is now mainstream. The risk associated with the lack of IP protection was a prime concern last year, leaving just 38% wanting to increase collaborative efforts; this year 77% believe that risk is worth taking. At the same time, two-thirds of those who collaborate have seen associated revenue grow as a result…READ ON


Business Insider: Lawmakers should follow business example of collaboration

Politicians, especially many Republicans, often talk of operating government like a business. I think they mean government should be efficient with its resources and how it delivers service. It is a solid principle for both government and business, but it’s too easy to bash bureaucracy and overlook corporate inefficiency. So the comparison isn’t perfect, though there is one strong parallel to consider when the General Assembly convenes Monday, and that is collaboration…READ ON


What You Give Up by Becoming an Entrepreneur

IMAGE: Getty Images

IMAGE: Getty Images

Forsaking the office to become an entrepreneur may sound like a dream come true, but the reality is that going into business for yourself can feel more like a nightmare. While the number of people leaving their jobs to strike out on their own seems to be growing by the day, a recent story in New York magazine points out that being your own boss means sacrificing many things that Americans hold dear. So what accounts for Americans’ obsession with entrepreneurship and the rise of startup culture?…READ ON


An experiment in collaborative writing

pensWe’re starting 2015 with an experiment in collaborative creative writing. What happens when you ask ten academics to write a story together? Taking our cue from the Exquisite Cadaver game played by Surrealist artists and poets in the 1930s, we’ve asked our authors to contribute to a story in progress. We gave them free rein: no restrictions on style or genre. Just file 300 words that continues the story…READ ON


Collaboration part 3: The future of collaboration

Gazing into a crystal ball and predicting the future is problematic, especially when it comes to technology. Five years ago, the (then) CTO of Cisco, Padmasree Warrior, took up the challenge and made five predictions on the future of collaboration. With the help of the latest IDG survey on UC and collaboration, let’s take a look at how those predictions have unfolded…READ ON


As cyber attacks swell, a move toward improved industry collaboration

At the First Conference for computer security in Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel last June, Andre Ludwig listened as Holly Stewart, a product manager for Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center, lectured to a crowd of cyber professionals about a new program that would unite organizations against the growing wave of malware that infects computers across the globe…READ ON


…and now for something completely different…

What speaking two languages does to the brain

brain reseachThere is increasing evidence that bilingualism can affect how the brain works. Older, lifelong bilinguals have demonstrated better cognitive skills in tasks that require increased cognitive control. These cognitive effects are most pronounced in bilingual people who speak two languages in their everyday life for many years, compared to those who speak a second language but don’t use it often. Our new research has now highlighted the structural improvements on the brain observed in bilingual people who immerse themselves in two languages…READ ON




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