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

Participate in the 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey

We have just launched the questionnaire for the 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey and I want to invite blog readers who work for a membership organization to participate.

If you are on our survey list, you would have already received an email with a personal link to connect you to the survey. Please use the link provided in the email to respond. However, if you have not received an email from me requesting you to participate, you can still be a part of the research by using this link.

Last year’s research highlighted some important trends and outcomes that membership organizations have experienced. You can review some of the most important findings in my post, Ten Top Tips from the Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report.

This year’s survey will give you the chance to benchmark your organization against nearly 500 other professional and trade associations.

You can participate using this survey link.

To thank you for your participation in this best practices research project, I will send you a copy of the final report. And of course, no specific responses will be reported from any individual or organization without specific written consent. Your participation is much appreciated.