Roadmender Recommends

The staying power of collaboration as a business strategy is a powerful reminder to business leaders that a truly competitive business can’t really ignore collaboration any more than it can its ICT, Marketing and Comms or HR strategies.  Two very commonly observed factors that prevent some from embracing collaboration are: a belief that collaboration and competition are mutually exclusive; and the frustration that emerges when entities collaborate.  Nothing can be further from the truth; when collaboration is taken seriously enough. 

Sometimes it is worth remembering that collaboration is not as much about agreement as it is about managing disagreement well. 

This edition of recommended reading contains some articles that may inspire seasoned collaborators and novices alike.  


Collaboration is Powering Success in Several Industries

Tapping the potential of digital technology often requires assembling multidisciplinary teams—from external as well as internal businesses—who share data and insights. This trend toward collaboration is developing across industries, including biotech and pharmaceuticals, where advances in medicine are far more likely to come from collaboration between colleagues or companies than from a lone scientist toiling in a lab, asserts Judith Dunn, global head of clinical development at Roche Innovation.

“It’s changed how we hire and how we do business,” she says. “I have a theoretical physicist—a math whiz—whose job is to model disease. I pair him with a biologist. Their work helps…READ ON


2017’s Collaboration Prize Winner Can Teach a Thing or Two

One of the most powerful things a nonprofit can do is collaborate. By that, we mean the kind of collaboration fueled primarily by what’s best for the community meant to benefit from the work. Many lesser forms of collaboration are required by funders or otherwise deemed desirable, but true collaboration comes from a shared sense that the outcomes of more than one organization could be bettered by working together.

The Collaboration Prize can help us make the important distinction between collaborations of substance and the lesser types. Most nonprofits collaborate from time to time, or even a lot but on an impermanent basis. This..READ ON


Pixar’s Ed Catmull On How Collaborative Competition Drives Success

The first thing you notice when you step into Pixar’s famed atrium is the awards case. Golden statues of every shape and size, dozens of them Oscars, quietly attest to the studio’s creative dominance over the past two decades. But this weekend when Hollywood’s biggest prizes are handed out, for the first time in years, Pixar won’t be in consideration for best animated feature.

2016, it seems, belonged to Disney’s. That studio, once hopelessly lost in a creative funk, is now releasing one critical and box office breakthrough after the next (Zootopia and Moana are both favorites to win on Sunday). This has left critics and fans to wonder if Pixar has begun to lose its edge. To Ed Catmull, Pixar’s longtime CEO, however, Disney’s renaissance is proof that a well-managed collaborative competition is the key to long…READ ON


Local extension educators are part of farming collaboration in China

A collaboration between Nebraska and China, years in the making has finally put down roots in China’s Shaanxi province.

In November of 2016, Governor Ricketts announced that the Nebraska Department of Economic Development had signed an agreement with Chinese officials to create a working demonstration farm, known as the Nebraska (Yangling) Agricultural Sci-tech Park. The partnership, has several entities in China and Nebraska working together.

In the last week of March the Nebraska Extension sent 25 faculty members to work on the agricultural project for spring…READ ON


Radical collaboration protects Colombia’s birds, coffee farmers

The traditional approach to environmental conservation goes something like this: A particular landscape or species, usually somewhere in the developing world, is deemed important and, therefore, countries are encouraged to rope off big chunks of land and keep people out.


But the people being kept out are usually farmers struggling with poverty, whose only reliable source of income is that landscape. The approach pits two important principles against each other: environmental conservation and social justice.

Over the past decade or so, conservationists have learned that the most effective, sustainable and just solutions take into account the social, economic and environmental needs of each…READ ON


Fighting Financial Crime: The Power of Industry Collaboration


Fighting Financial Crime: The Power of Industry Collaboration

With the fourth EU Directive on Money Laundering coming into force in June this year and instances of financial crime becoming increasingly frequent, it is more crucial than ever for teams within Financial Institutions (FIs), as well as across the industry, to collaborate to tackle financial crime and fraud. In 2016, more than 75 cyberattacks were reported to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK compared to just five reports in 2014; the challenges of managing and combatting financial crime risk are becoming more and more difficult.  The need to mitigate financial crime is particularly prudent given that statistics from CEB Tower Group show that fines from financial…READ ON