Innovation through Collaboration

We are always looking for new innovative ways to do things better. So I wanted to share two items that I came across this week that attribute successful innovation to collaboration.

First in an article in the Technology section of the Washington Post, the case is made that much of the economic dynamism of technology companies comes from sharing talent and ideas. “Across the Internet industry, the most successful organizations compete by cooperating. It’s a modern strategy based on two assumptions. First, innovation is collaborative. Second, the rapidly expanding market of online products is limitless. Businesses that focus on the process of free-wheeling creation – rather than squashing the competition – gain dominance and profit.”1.

Along the same lines, Edward Glaeser, author of "Triumph of the City”, also believes in the power of collaboration, but he sees this collaboration arising not out of sharing, but because of the physical proximity of people to each other in a city environment. He says, “So much of what humankind has achieved over the past three millennia has come out of the remarkable collaborative creations that come out of cities. We are a social species. We come out of the womb with the ability to sop up information from people around us. It's almost our defining characteristic as creatures. And cities play to that strength. Cities enable us to learn from other people. They enable us to become better, in a sense, by leveraging the talent of the crowds around us. When you think about all the great inventions that human beings have made -- from Athenian philosophy to Henry Ford's Model T's, to Facebook -- they were always collaborative.”2.

From my own personal experience, I find that if I can get a bunch of smart people in a room, we can innovate much faster and better than any other process that I have employed.

One suggestion for collaboration in membership marketing would be to participate in this year’s benchmarking research. If you want to be part of the research, please use this link.

Where do you find your place to innovate through collaboration?

1. Greg Ferenstein, In a cutthroat world, some Web giants thrive by cooperating, The Washington Post, February 19, 2011.
2. Edward Glaeser, "Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier." Penguin Press