Andrew McAfee’s been talking about enterprise 2.0 and innovation, and the need to move from the centre towards the outer rings of his E2.0 target model to stimulate innovation.
He’s just introduced Gentry Underwood, Head of Knowledge Sharing at IDEO who is talking about design thinking which mixes business, human and technology factors effectively to just about any problem we can imagine –including how technology can be used to make organisations more innovative.
“As organizations look to stay competitive in an increasingly volatile marketplace, technology can play a part in becoming more innovative and collaborative. But where and when should these tools be used, and how do you get real value out of them? Gentry Underwood, head of Knowledge Sharing at IDEO, will share examples, strategies, and lessons learned from the employment of technology to facilitate broad-scale innovation.”
There are three key principles:
- Focus on people not the ideas themselves. There’s value in process but at the heart of innovation is something messy that can’t be managed. At the end of a process at IDEO they’ll have lots of ideas they’ll just throw away. To an extent, ideas are cheap. Empower people, not ideas.
- How do we enable more people to work together with each other? Create platforms for coalescence. Innovation happens when collaborative people come together with a shared vision. IDEO have physical spaces for people to innovate and can do this online as well (eg My Starbucks Ideas, Netflix Prize etc). IDEO have well used blogging, networking systems and a wiki (IDEO Spaces).
- Facilitate and reward participation. Friction in the system stops people using it and the less people on it the less valuable it is. The last system has been successful because they didn’t need to do anything special – have a password, attend training etc to use it). Two key things have been a RSS type feed system. And screen savers in their locations which cycle through the 20 latest status updates and has encouraged people to maintain their profiles. This has led to a 97% take-up of their People Pages.
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