In an article published in Entrepreneur magazine in 2014, Sir Richard Branson explained why the best entrepreneurs and marketers seek out new conversations, new ideas and new ways of doing things. A common ‘myth’ of innovation and creativity is the belief in the lone creative genius toiling away on their masterpiece. In reality – most breakthroughs require smart, highly motivated, highly communicative, diverse and argumentative small teams of people, energised by good leaderships and working with good processes.
Of course collaboration does not mean everyone agrees, that the project seeks the easy road or that people compromise straight away. Talk to any creative producer or leader and they will often point out that challenge, debate, sometimes an argument – can lead to the real break through. The spark of creativity is often created in the clash of different ideas and it is fueled by new thinking and an ability to be self critical and self correcting. This does not mean personal attacks or dismissing great work done before. Rather it is a cultural habit of always seeking out the new, exploring the small steps we can take, often by looking outside of our organisation as much as inside of it.
This paragraph from Branson explains it brilliantly;
“Many people think that an entrepreneur is someone who operates alone, overcoming challenges and bringing his idea to market through sheer force of personality. This is completely inaccurate. Few entrepreneurs — scratch that: almost no one — ever achieved anything worthwhile without help.
To be successful in business, you need to connect and collaborate and delegate. Finding ways to meet with people in the real world and build business relationships is becoming ever more important in the digital age.
While in some industries it’s possible for employees to limit their communications to email and, if they wish, avoid interacting with colleagues (and their managers), that’s not possible for entrepreneurs, since relationships built on trust are vital to doing business.”
– Richard Branson, Entrepreneur Magazine, 2014