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Food for thought

Are You Killing Innovation?

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One of the best parts about continued education is that you get to learn from other people’s mistakes, rather than just their successes. Reading about someone else’s missteps and miscalculations can offer a lot of insight into fostering innovation in your business.

Whenever we hear about a company that has failed, we like to consider the lessons we can learn from them. Kodak is a great example of a business that practically owned an entire industry — then lost everything. It’s because they refused to adapt to the times and embrace innovation.

Let’s learn from Kodak’s biggest mistake.

From Kodak Moment To Kodak Bankruptcy

Kodak was on top of the world. The company had coined the term “Kodak moment” to describe a snapshot of American life. At peak performance, its market share consisted of 90 percent of film sales and 85 percent of camera sales. But it had a problem. Kodak refused to adapt to the rise of digital photography. In this blog post, we’ll find out what went wrong and what we, as business owners, can do to avoid the same fate.

Why Well-Treated Employees Are More Innovative

One of Kodak’s biggest downfalls was failing to change with the times and stay on top of innovations in the film and camera industries. If innovation is the goal, this article from Inc. explains how treating employees well encourages innovation, which can help your company rise to the top of the heap — especially when it comes to long-term incentives.

‘Intrapreneurs’ Can’t Change Their Industry Inside Drab Office Walls

One way to promote innovation is with “intrapreneurs,” or people with an entrepreneurial mindset operating in a larger company. They are still employees, but they have the autonomy and creativity to upend an entire industry with their innovative new solutions. If you’re prepared to hand off the reins of a new project or initiative to an intrapreneur, here are a few ways you can get the most mileage out of the arrangement.

One is the loneliest number …

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No man is an island … and no business is either. In order to maximize your business growth, you’ve got to make the most of your relationships. Building and maintaining strategic partnerships with other businesses is the best way to get more business. And often, all it costs is social capital — which anyone can cultivate.

This week, our resources are all about what you can learn from companies who’ve leveraged this social capital and made killer partnerships. Take a page from their book and grow your business!

Tune in to Strategic Business Partnerships

Nothing else has quite the same impact that a quality strategic partnership will have on your business. This week, we delve into one prominent, strong business partnership that’s worth learning from: the one between Uber and Spotify.

How to find the Right Co-Marketing Partner

As great as relationships with partners can be, you should go into them with both eyes open. There are a lot of factors that go into a successful partnership. Imagine sitting down and telling one of your best customers about the company you might partner with. What kind of reaction would you get? You can’t afford to endanger your reputation or compromise too far in pursuit of a strategic partnership — even a highly promising one. Use this article to help you research potential partners and find that important balance between profitability and maintaining your brand identity.

4 Tips to Go Further, Faster With Strategic Partnerships

Once you understand the value of having a range of great strategic partnerships in place, it’s time to go get them. You may be surprised at how quickly you can come up with a list of potential partners for your business, but actually following through and building a successful relationship with them all is a lot more involved. From identifying the right opportunities to negotiating terms, this Entrepreneur article gives you some great insights on going further, faster with partnerships!

What businesses does your industry interact with the most? How can you build a bridge between their success and yours? I’m hoping that this week’s food for thought pushes you to answer these questions for yourself, to find out how you can take advantage of the explosive power of partnerships!

What’s Your Relationship Status?

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Building relationships is something we all need to put more focus into. If you think about it, relationships are the lifeblood of any successful organization — or individual, for that matter.

This is because people do business with people. In the end, you’ll always enjoy doing business with people you know, like, and trust before some nameless, faceless company. To prove the point, ask yourself, “When was the last time you had strong positive feelings about your cable company?” The reason no one on the planet enjoys dealing with their cable provider is because there’s no relationship there!

Don’t make the same mistake in your business. By getting to know someone as an individual, while providing a lot of value as a professional, you create a powerful connection, and it’s that connection that will keep customers and employees sticking with you, as well as vendors, investors, and business partners.

So let’s dive into some profitable strategies for improving communication and building relationships.

The 6 Star Principles For Building Relationships

No matter who you’re building a relationship with, there are certain star principles that apply in every case. These 4 key principles for better communication include creativity, quality, and personality. To find out more about how communication improves relationships, take a look at this blog. See if you can apply what you learn to improve the relationships in your life or business.

Asking Questions To Win Sales

Great communication is the single most important factor in your team’s sales success. How else can you encourage anyone to buy your products and services if your team can’t cultivate a relationship with them? Brian Tracy writes that attentive listening is the best way to establish rapport. This can be coupled with asking a few very powerful questions to encourage further communication. Read this blog post if you want to build great relationships with your prospects.

9 Ways To Improve Employee And Customer Communication

How well does your team communicate? You can dramatically improve productivity in your company by fostering good internal communication between team members. This CIO article shares some great to-do items that can help, including the use of a social collaboration platform and an online forum for employees, as well as bonus suggestions for connecting with customers.

Take A Break: Near, Far, Wherever You Are

If you work really hard to build up your professional relationships, you might have half the rapport with them that Leonardo DiCaprio has with his snack in this awesome meme.

Amazing post with all the goodies

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