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Collaboration Roll-up: Ditching Comfort Zones, Gaining a Business Model + a CMO and CIO Love Story

Conspire focused heavily on collaboration in May, with posts covering everything from business models to love stories (specifically between CMO and CIO). Check out six of our favorites below.

Business Collaboration Finally Grows Up in 2013

After compiling decades of research, MIT Professor Tom Allen found that, despite the seemingly booming popularity of business collaboration platforms, people are not likely to collaborate very often if they are more than 50 feet apart.

Kind of a bummer, considering the number of people who work remotely these days. But Allen’s number might not matter so much in 2013, as other findings suggest we’re on the brink of huge social change (as usual). For example,, a UK-based business collaboration startup, states that 75% of businesses say online collaboration tools will be “important” or “somewhat important” to their business this year.

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Creativity and the Collaboration Business Model

If it’s true that art imitates life and vice versa, it might be time for those of us racing around the social business arena to turn our focus towards creative companies, many who have managed to unwittingly develop solid collaboration business models born out of what we all want — to be pioneers of our own marketing space and make money doing what we do.

One of those companies is Arts + Labor, an organization that brings together talented visionaries in television and film production, motion graphics, commercials, and marketing videos. Their goal is simple and sweet: “Create a collaborative, creative community that will attract talented people, working together, to create something bigger than the sum of their parts.” That’s a mission statement we can all learn from; what follows are three pieces of advice from the creative company playbook.

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The Future of Marketing is Collaborative

Managed right, a variety of skill sets and ideas in one melting pot can yield innovative and sustainable business results. But in today’s socially-powered world communication is once again quite personal, meaning top-notch collaboration must transcend far beyond the office. Now, the most forward-thinking companies are expanding collaboration by bringing their very customers into the process.

Present day examples include customer communities, which aim to take socialization to the next step by extracting value from B2C engagement. After all, giving customers an opportunity provide insight is a pretty good way to go about gathering customer insight, ya know? And the good news is that they really, really love it. Being included in the ideation process, having a voice and feeling relevant fulfills basic human needs, which in turn inspires happiness and brand loyalty.

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Collaboration Between the CMO and CIO: A Love Story

Collaboration exists in many forms. As a tool that manifests organically out of human interaction, it’s subject to the push-pull of partnerships and the dangers of imbalanced approach. That’s especially true in business, when two or more department heads fail to communicate their expectations of each other, but still use them as measures for success.

One of the more historically contentious relationships is that between the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and CIO (Chief Information Officer). This alliance depends primarily on healthy communication and consistency, but unfortunately, misaligned goals often get lost in translation.

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Business Collaboration Requires Getting Uncomfortable

While being on a team of similar people is comfortable in a predictably easy-going way, without diverse skill sets, work styles and opinions, it’s impossible to execute well-balanced projects. Innovation requires a bit of conflict, a bit of back and forth. In other words: if business collaboration doesn’t make you at least slightly uncomfortable, chances are you’re missing out on its value.

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You’re Doing it Wrong: Collaboration Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

It’s time to talk about collaboration mistakes that are coming to light as the tech industry places higher priority on team outcomes over individual successes.

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