So I keep asking myself “What is the role of social media in innovation?”

Social media haunts us all. For many years you first become aware, then very aware and then fully aware that social media is changing our lives.

Let me confess: I am not alone I am sure but I seem to be presently suffering from Social Media Return Dilemma. There I’ve said it, it is out in the open, “I suffer from SMRD”.

To be honest I am struggling with social media in innovation, struggling to get my head around it for my business, for me for a long time. It often seems overwhelming, do you feel the same? I worried about this years ago and still do. What is the best social media to have as part of your communicating strategy, how much time do you network?

It starts with a realization

I can see daily the amazing power that social networking can provide, it is certainly eating into my day, more and more. Is this a good thing or bad? What suffers, what benefits? The time issue has to increasingly be managed, and I have yet to come up with a repeatable plan to manage social media consistently each day into my work. I get so much from viewing, commenting, relating and learning.

I don’t have a clear enough strategy for it or where to direct my social media energy, does anyone? It continues to evolve in front of our eyes, are you cresting the social media wave or swimming like crazy to get back up on the surfing board?

I am still learning, experimenting, exploring through a combination of writing blogs, contributing to others, updating my connections, tweeting sometimes like crazy, publishing, promoting or simply clicking on a retweet or offer a “like” back to the author or the one that has publicized something that interests me. Often I do wonder all this frenetic energy leads to what end. It does nag away at me?

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What goes around, comes around, in Innovation

It is funny but that often-used phrase “what goes around, comes around” seems appropriate here.

I was catching up with my often collaborator and sparring partner on “all things innovating” Jeffrey Phillips  recently, and within our conversation, some of our discussions sort of triggered a reflection back to some fundamental work we undertook some years back.

In revisiting it, I felt it does stand the test of time and does seem to make this “come around” seem true. Let me provide a quick introduction along with some brief explanations : Continue reading

Applying the Three Horizon Thinking to a Fresh Perspective of Innovation Design

There is huge value in applying the three horizon framework into your thinking. It is as useful a framework that you can get, to help decide where you are heading.

It is not just for innovation application, that can determine innovation activities. It has multiple values in any organization thinking and alignment.

The 3H informs the decisions to be taken, by recognizing their importance to the future and ‘frame’ resource allocation, identify current capability gaps to resolve.

It helps to enable the whole organization to “get onto the same page” and move towards that desired future.

This 3H thinking helps break down complex issues. Thinking in different horizons prompts you to go beyond the usual focus of fixing innovation just in the present it provides the connections of the present with the desired future. The 3H builds portfolio design, outline the steps to resolve in any complex challenge, it ‘informs’ strategy and builds the business case for taking a specific direction to that ‘desired future’.

If you want to read more on the three horizons then take some time out to explore the “insights and thinking” resource page shown under the ‘tabs’ above.

I recently applied the three horizons thinking to ‘frame’ a new innovation design Continue reading

The Dynamics within Agility.

There has been an awful lot to absorb when it comes to skills and how organizations need to be designed for the future. The suggestions have come ‘thick and fast’ from so many sources.

The number of helpful reports, observations and suggestions are constant and becoming overwhelming to translate effectively.

How can we map a new pathway for shifting current practices and transform them?

Where do we focus, what do we recognize as organization practices that can begin to transform the organization and re-equip it for a different future?

After working through a number the one that held my attention and has become central to my thinking to take organizational practices forward was provided by a recent report from McKinsey “How to create an agile organization”. This report has been part of a broader ‘agile’ series from them but this one specifically gave me my necessary anchor point, to move forward with my own design thinking for agility and innovation.

Agility for me is vital, it allows us to increasingly be adaptive in an uncertain world.

As innovation continues to be central to growth far more in the future it is our ability to adapt and adjust to all the uncertainties and this requires the ability to be agile. Continue reading

Learning a new innovation language

We all in the middle of a re-orientation of our ways to undertake innovation as a process and in its design.

The past belief that a product was your island and pathway to secured profits no longer works. We are learning to connect in completely different ways.

We are learning how to interact with a connected system as products move into products and digital, connected and combined.

It is how we design and explores “smart” products and for this we are reliant on others, having a growing dependency on external parties. We are building our innovation in new collaborations and diverse networks of expertise and understanding.

The emergence of platforms and ecosystems within our connected product design are increasingly taking a central role.

So are you learning a new innovation language? Continue reading

So Where Is Innovation Heading?

I have written a fair amount about the new innovation era, offering a view on its future design.

One that is jumping to a fresh cycle of innovative design

We are in the middle of it, some of you may not have noticed its impact and change but it is significant on the understanding of innovation, in it’s future design.

Often this era of change is not as well-recognized or being faced up to, as you would expect.

Many companies are still in denial or not wanting to address the significant legacy and change required.

Innovation has gone from being islands of knowledge, developing new products and services exclusive to that one company, then quickly copied by the competitors, into something radically different.

We are moving into innovation activities that are built more on collaborative and co-creation approaches, where cooperation and exchanges are more built around platforms and formed in ecosystems.These ecosystems gather around a concept or transformation that requires this collective approach and require a more radical design and become very unique in the end result .To achieve this innovation has gone digital, pure and simple. Continue reading

There are Knowns and Unknowns in Innovation: Let’s Manage Them Differently

quote from donald rumsfeld about the knowns and unknowns

This quote is from the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Henry Rumsfeld, who mentioned: “unknown unknowns” (Rumsfeld, 2002). Since then, people have started using quadrants of knowledge, i.e., known known, known unknown, unknown known, and unknown unknown, to understand and explain the nature of risk but also of leading to an opportunity.

For innovators so much of innovation is hard to detect, it needs discovery and working through these quadrants of knowledge as well. We need to treat ideas the same on how anything needs assessing but it needs to pass through a different thinking about knowledge understanding, as there are ‘known knowns’ and ‘unknown unknowns’ and we need to prepare for both within our innovation activities.

Our pursuit in life is often the same as our innovation efforts, it is in the search for discovery. Often it happens, that we already feel better equipped for exploring and observing by just getting out of our usual everyday working environment.

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