Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Social Innovation

It's funny how things intersect in life. I just ran into Chris Gammil's post New Era of Social Innovation where he describes it as:
The model takes the best of the OPEN model and pushes right out into the open, further distributing idea sourcing, team forming, development, commercialization and economic distribution.

What are some of the drivers?

  • The social web is making it easier find people with similar passions for creation/innovation
  • The social web is making it easier to find people with complementary talents
  • Web 2.0 has driven modular, lower cost development models making experimentation easier
  • Talent is hungry for opportunities to test ideas and work with other talented folks
  • People are more open to contribution/gifting models of creation (understanding innovation is a numbers game
I recently posted about Social Media and Experimental Innovation : eLearning Technology. It's the same basic concept but from a different angle.

Malcolm Gladwell defines two types of innovators: innovators who come up with an idea quickly or those who need to iterate and experiment - the Experimental Innovator. Clark Quinn describes a helper to that kind of innovation - Innovating by Conversation. Clark tells us ...
Surowiecki’s Wisdom of the Crowds, Tapscott’s Wikinomics, and Libert & Spector’s We Are Smarter Than Me, are telling us to tap into the wisdom of crowds, and with lots of examples of how creating conversations with folks can spark new insights.
The thought this sparks is that experimental innovation can be accelerated through broader conversations. Thus, when it comes time to figure out a concept, iterate through it, having available networks greatly accelerates this process. Much of Gladwell's discussion of experimental innovation discussed innovation occurring over very long periods of time (10 years).

In many ways, this is exactly how I'm approaching my new venture Work Literacy. It's a big, hard problem. Get lot's of people together to foster discussion, innovation, experimentation.

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