One of the more thought provoking statistics to emerge from the 2014 UK Budget speech was that “later this year the OBR expects Britain to reach the point when our economy is finally larger than before it collapsed six years ago.” That’s great news for the future but what a six years it has been! Whilst some companies have managed to weather the storm in one fashion or another, many household names have been swept away.

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What does collaboration mean to you? If your instinctive answer was that collaboration means working together then you are not alone, but forgive me if I come up with a supplementary question and ask what working together really means? You see, for many, in business and in life, collaboration or working together is just another way of explaining task allocation.

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Where does your interaction with your customers begin? Is it when they see an advert in a paper or click on an e-mail, perhaps it’s when they browse the net for their next purchase, or does customer interaction start and end when they step over your threshold? If you think any of these things then your business is very much in trouble.

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All over the world, organisations are emerging from hibernation, once again stretching their limbs and flexing their corporate muscles ready for a post-recession drive for the future. But whilst hibernating, hunkering down and minimising risk in an effort to survive, the world and customers continued to move on at an ever-increasing pace.

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The end of the year is upon us and what a year it has been! From glacial ice and snow, a late spring heralded in one of the finest summers in years and as we basked in its warmth, so too did the economy with early faint shoots of recovery growing and taking firm hold across the UK…

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I often think that the way in which many organisations set off to meet the innovation challenge is strikingly similar to this children’s tale. The declaration of intent, the setting off on a route with no idea of what lies ahead, no planning and no thought, a few brief forays which seem to be getting somewhere and then when the true nature of the task becomes apparent the swift retreat into ‘business as usual’.

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