I was asked to be a part of the TEDx event held at University of Denver each year. This year’s theme is “Radical Collaboration“. To help promote the event and build awareness and participation in the various in-person and online aspects of the event, TEDxDU is filming videos of each of the speakers talking about what Radical Collaboration means to them.

Here is (roughly) what I said… I tried to have a little fun with it:

Radical Collaboration…

For me, Radical Collaboration is like an episode of Hogan’s Heroes. Or maybe the A-Team. Or maybe it’s like Ocean’s 11. You need a crazy idea, a little luck and a diverse team to pull off the seemingly impossible.

It helps if you have a ringleader… this is usually someone with a big, scary idea that sounds ridiculously impossible to pull off. But the idea can’t just be difficult… it has to have an element of magic… or better yet dangerous magic to capture everyone’s imagination.

You will also need specialists… these are uniquely qualified people with special traits. People, who in other areas of their life are most likely perceived as freaks, miscreants or outcasts… but in THIS context – the pursuit of the big idea – they are perfectly suited. They can be carefully recruited by hand, or utterly chosen by fate. I’m entirely flexible on this point.

But the trick is they all must be willing to put their unique talents in service to a wild ass idea. That’s why the dangerous magic is so important – a mediocre idea won’t motivate anyone.

At it’s core, Radical Collaboration is a bet. It’s a bet that says “I AM WILLING TO INVEST SOMETHING VALUABLE TO ME – MY TIME, MY TALENT, MY MONEY – FOR THE CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING REMARKABLE.” You’re betting that even though the destination might be hazy, and the path to get there uncertain, you have FAITH that we will figure it out, together.

And if we fall short, we’ll exit having learned a few lessons, made some new friends and had fun trying. That’s the great thing about Radical Collaboration: no matter what happens you always way away with a great story.

I could talk about collaboration for a long time.  But it’s more interesting to actually just collaborate. So…

My band (yes, I’m in a band) and I will be doing a Radical Collaboration with everyone who is coming to this year’s TEDxDU. We’ll be shooting a music video for our song ‘In My Neighborhood’ — shot AT the event itself WITH and BY the attendees themselves.

It’s a risk — that’s a lot of filming during a very busy day, but I know it will be fun.  I bet we’ll create something cool together.  I hope you’ll be there. Look for details soon!

Thank you.

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I founded Intelligent Demand as a kind of radical collaboration.  It’s built around the idea that strategy, technology and creativity can (and should) coexist in a new model marketing agency.  And that, together with our clients, we can make BIG differences in not just their revenue performance, but in their ability to achieve their big ideas.

And that’s the big idea behind Intelligent Demand: to help our clients fulfill their respective missions faster, smarter and more successfully.  In our economy, people vote with their purchase dollars.  That means if your revenue is consistently growing, you are doing something that people need and/or want.  Or put another way, people believe in YOUR big idea.

How are you involved in radical collaboration? Please, comment below or contact us today and tell us!

Author John Common

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John is Intelligent Demand’s founder, chief strategist and CEO. His energy and enthusiasm for transforming companies with modern approaches to marketing, sales, and customer success is palpable. He’ll happily geek out with you during a 2-hour conversation about your customer journey. He’ll cover any whiteboard or tablecloth in sight with revenue growth strategies, messaging concepts, and program designs. But his primary passion is connecting those ideas to highly executable programs that deliver measurable results.

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