Innovation in Mind applied (part one)

The last week has been full of conferences and little time to reflect. Starting with Q-Day and Innovation in Mind in Lund and followed by TEDxStockholm. Each of these had both face to face elements that I have tried to reflect and capture as well as social media tools applied to create greater interactivity with the participants. Q-Day did this particularly well with mobile texting tools integrated into the scene.

Reflections from Innovation in Mind (day one):

  • Bengt-Åke Lundvall – Great to have innovation and creativity officers representative in EU, but missing measurement of entrepreneurs and SMEs (and noticeably missing women). The audience was particularly disturbed by the “old men” representation of creativity, and did not hold back from expressing it on the message boards. Seems he forgot his audience when creating his message, as these were predominantly innovators and entrepreneurs, not politicians.

  • Henry Chesbrough – On open innovation, great modeling for critical element of capturing spin out and spin offs in innovation process. We must figure out better models for Yours/Mine/Ours and Intellectual Property. This “open” aspect of collaboration is certainly a great deal of what “social” strategy is about.

  • Nikolaus Franke – Finally simplified explanations of User Innovation (user gets benefit from using, not selling) and the importance of applying information from test users in analygous markets. Brilliant. This is true social optimisation in R&D. Understanding that the users are not always obvious and neither are their motivators for innovation is critical. Great examples of toolkit development to simplify users participation in R&D both from online t-shirt design to watch design. Reminded me a bit of the Timberland customized boot or Ralph Lauren custom polo short applications. But the data on what the user was willing to spend on individual customization was quite interesting (nearly twice).
  • Sahar Hashemi – Was a brilliant presenter. She shared her story on the founding of Coffee Republic with such authenticity that she engaged each and every member of the audience. Her message was clean and clear and inspiring for everyone fearing taking the entrepreneurial leap, she left them feeling they could do it and as she says “the net will appear.”
  • Clay Shirky – I will write more on his presentation in a separate entry, as his work is so critical to understanding the impact of communities and users. It was a delight to see him present and to meet him afterwards.
  • Eric von Hippel -Spoke of Lead User Innovation (user who innovate to solve their needs at private expense & the freely reveal their innovations) and the difference with User Driven Innovation (otherwise known as, Market Research) and the importance of recognising that over time fewer users can compete with user collaboratives. This was a great example of how SMEs and Entrepreneurs have an advantage in the new marketplace using effective social strategy.
  • And finally the panel that (from a social strategy perspective) accentuated the importance of collaboration and partnership as well as the power of listening to analygous markets. (ask listen, learn)

My reflections are from a social strategy perspective, but keep in mind there was so much more. More to come…

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Embrace Social Media

Social media is a “cost efficient experiment” according to the Social Computing Journal. Smart Brief says polls on LinkedIn and AdWeek show “Recession will yield ad improvements in ROI, Web, social media”. Bryan Eisenberg of ClickZ states that “social media should be a part of any forward-thinking and transparent company.” Smart Brief has gone so far as to recognise the importance by creating its own section of Smart Brief on Social Media.

So what does this all mean? Social Media has hit the mainstream and we need to learn to manage our interactions with it, as individuals and businesses. It has enormous possibilities and we are all invited to partake, in fact we cannot avoid it once we go online. It was not so long ago we were learning how to deal with ratings and comments being the extent of the online interactions. Now we are creating global communities everywhere. In Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations we are drawn deeper into the impact of communities or organisations that are self created. As marketers we need to learn to not simply “harness” the communities but become active participants. As receivers we need to embrace the wealth of knowledge to be obtained and learn to optmise our interactions so that we do not become even more overwhelmed by the influx of information. Do not resist, but take the time to take part and learn what is out there to make the most of it.

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