Competitive advantage could plausibly be described as the most influential idea in the history of business ideas so far.
But in the light of today’s uncertainty, interconnectedness and complexity, have we now reached a turning point in history from which creating competitive advantage may no longer be in our best interests? And could there be a more powerful alternative to help us grow our organisations more effectively?
My experience running Pimp My Cause and the Agency of the Future has taught me that the answer is YES!
These experiences have inspired me to write the book Collaborative Advantage: How Collaboration Beats Competition as a strategy for success. The book presents the alternative model of Collaborative Advantage, which organisations around the world are now using to drive a greater level of success that can be better for business, better for customers and better for society.
The book is intended to help you:
Pimp My Cause has become a living laboratory of Collaborative Advantage in practice. I founded Pimp My Cause because I enjoyed using my marketing capabilities to support causes that I believed in, but I knew that I could create far more benefit for society by enabling any marketer to more easily find a cause to support, rather than just volunteering on my own.
Within Pimp My Cause each of our cause members are tremendous testbeds of collaboration. Even a small charity has to align the interests of a complex stakeholder environment including their beneficiaries, service users, customers, volunteers, ambassadors, individual donors, funders and corporate partners.
I have often described our causes as ‘ninjas’ in the art of higher purpose, with each one relentlessly pursuing the particular purpose that called them into being as an organisation. And through the matching platform our marketing members apply the skills of analysis, creativity and influence to the cause’s purpose to unlock greater collaboration to help them reach their goals.
Leaders are increasingly aware that purpose is valuable in a commercial context as well. The consulting firm EY studied almost 500 businesses and found that the businesses that had a clearly defined purpose and were able to mobilise around that purpose, were more successful against every business metric measured in the study, than those that didn't.
Running Pimp My Cause has greatly influenced the ideas in the book, which acts as a guide to support the rapid growth of any business or the impact of any non-profit by bringing the fuller, value-creating potential of the outside world inside the organisation. And it has also influenced how I work with my clients at the Agency of the Future, where I help leadership teams to understand and define their organisational purpose differently in the light of Collaborative Advantage and to better mobilise around that purpose as a result.
I would be deeply grateful if you could share this post, write a book review, or pass the book details on to people who might be interested in running a book event with us or sharing an article or podcast about it.
The book is available for pre-purchase on Amazon.co.uk and will be published by Little, Brown on June 22nd. We’ll be holding a launch event at the Museum of Brands in London on that morning. If you’re interested in joining me there, please get in touch.
Many thanks for your support of Pimp My Cause and our journey to Market a Better World!
- Paul Skinner, founder of Pimp My Cause