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Partnership & Innovation


“It’s partner or perish.” - Ann Mulcahy, CEO of Xerox, 2009

Partnerships enable a brand or organisation to obtain a competitive advantage that is difficult, expensive – if not impossibe for a competitor to replicate. Collaboration has always been at the heart of innovation and progress and so if you're seeking to innovate - you need a well defined, well managed Partnership Strategy.

But don't just take our word for it.

In 2010 the General Electric Innovation Monitor surveyed over 1000 senior VP's and CMO's worldwide to ascertain what was the most important ingredient to marketing innovation. An engagement with the SME sector was rated third and a local market orientation was viewed as the second most important ingredients. The Number One element of Marketing Innovation identified by 86% of those surveyed by GE in 2010 - was Partnerships.

As Beth Comstock, the Chief Marketing Officer of General Electric stated;

“ There was a time when we believed we could solve the world’s problems on our own. That’s just not how the world works anymore. … For innovation to flourish, we must embrace a new innovation paradigm that promotes collaboration between all players - big, small, public, and private partnerships to foster creativity and emphasize solutions that meet local needs.”

And in 2012 - Cap Gemini reported that 82% of CEO's they surveyed saw innovation as being driven primarily by - collaboration.

The message is clear and consistent - if you want to drive innovation, you need skills and processes in place to encourage smarter collaboration. True collaboration goes beyond file sharing and project updates and is only successful when its focused and encouraged by processes and the behaviour of senior management.

How are you finding and developing your collaborative advantage? And what can you do to improve your chances of success?

For further thoughts, research and links please see our articles on
Partnerships and Collaboration in our Blogs