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A methodology for Web2.0 collaboration experiments

Dave Pollard has written another insightful article on sparking collaboration in organizations. His method revolves around self-motivated champions who shoulder the responsibility of making collaboration work.

Customer-Controlled Innovation

Patricia Seybold writes at length on her pet topic: how collaborating with customers leads to innovation and profitability. She describes several case studies of customer led innovation and gives us a strategy for making it happen in our organizations.

Enlightened CIOs are getting in front of this "engaged customer" parade to provide the leadership, tools, and resources that let their companies reap the rewards of customer-led innovation. In many of the organizations I studied, CIOs play a crucial role in integrating online-community platforms with their firms' customer self-service infrastructures.

How to use Blogs in the Workplace

Rod Boothby has a post on using blogs in the workplace using "activity-centric" worksites:

The idea behind Activity Centric Worksites is to use blogging tools to facilitate focused business communication. Instead of using a blog as a tool for one person to broadcast their thoughts on “whatever”, use blogs as a platform to help people within your company communicate about what they are doing for work. To make it easy to frame the conversation, provide structure around simple concepts that make sense for your company.

Open Source Science: A New Model for Innovation

A little late off the block, this Harvard Newsletter article takes a look at how 'crowdsourcing' or 'broadcasting' is helping in solving science problems. The real value of this piece is the research done in this area -- 166 distinct scientific problems from the research laboratories of twenty-six firms from ten countries over a four-and-a-half year period. The researchers found that 'nearly one-third of the previously unsolved problems found successful solutions.'

For more on this topic see Wikipedia's crowdsourcing page.

Top Innovation & Design Schools

BusinessWeek has a special report on the best design schools around the world. Great read.

Learning Spaces

"Space, whether physical or virtual, can have a significant impact on learning. Learning Spaces focuses on how learner expectations influence such spaces, the principles and activities that facilitate learning, and the role of technology from the perspective of those who create learning environments: faculty, learning technologists, librarians, and administrators... This e-book represents an ongoing exploration as we bring together space, technology, and pedagogy to ensure learner success."

The idea of deliberately designing spaces for learning or knowledge sharing has never gotten the attention it deserves from corporate decision makers. Hopefully this book, though still focused at the academia, will take the discussions to a higher level. [thanks elearnspace for the pointer]

More links on the subject:

The Innovation Sandbox

CK Prahalad writes on how to innovate at the bottom of the pyramid:

The process for designing both of these breakthrough innovations started with the identification of the following four conditions — all of which are difficult to realize, even when taken one at a time:

  1. The innovation must result in a product or service of world-class quality.
  2. The innovation must achieve a significant price reduction — at least 90 percent off the cost of a comparable product or service in the West.
  3. The innovation must be scalable: It must be able to be produced, marketed, and used in many locales and circumstances.
  4. The innovation must be affordable at the bottom of the economic pyramid, reaching people with the lowest levels of income in any given society.

AusWeb 06 presentations

This rich resource comes from the comment section of my article, The Changing Face of University Websites. Categories include content environments, web management, eLearning innovation and more.

Weekend links

Here are some links for the weekend:

Wikis—a disruptive innovation

A good roundup of wikis used inside organizations. Interestingly, Gartner predicted that "a third of mainstream collaboration software products will support wiki-style interaction by 2006." [thanks Portals+KM]

MIT: Innovation Through Design Thinking

Here's a video of Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, talking about design thinking:

At IDEO, a “design thinker” must not only be intensely collaborative, but “empathic, as well as have a craft to making things real in the world.” Since design flavors virtually all of our experiences, from products to services to spaces, a design thinker must explore a “landscape of innovation” that has to do with people, their needs, technology and business. Brown dips into three central “buckets” in the process of creating a new design: inspiration, ideation and implementation.

Innovation is the New Black

Jared Spool on how iPod and Netflix innovated by focusing on the ideal user experience:

"What Apple and Netflix did, while not simple, was straightforward. The value they created came from innovations that dramatically improved the user's experience. They looked hard at the current experience and focused on designing an ideal one.

Understanding the user experience isn't new. It's something designers and researchers have done for years. However, because it's linked to innovation and innovation is now an important corporate objective, its value has increased.

Now organizations realize they have to study how users currently experience their products and service. From this, they derive insights into how to make improvements and those improvements go into the design the teams aspire to achieve."

Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?

This is a nice treatise from Bryan Alexander covering all issues pertaining to Web 2.0 and linking it to teaching and learning. However, I still don't see any original ideas on using the Web 2.0 thinking. Most of the learning applications discussed are direct translations, such as the bookmarking and blogging applications.

People as a Source of Breakthrough Innovation

Stefano Marzano, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Director, Philips Design writes about how Philips goes about looking for design opportunities.

At Philips,we apply this approach to three things: our market,ourselves, and our interactions with our consumers…By combining all the insights we gain from looking at our market, ourselves, and the consumer interface, we can arrive at a general vision ofthe future. On that basis,we can then work out, for the next few years, what new types ofbenefits we should aim to provide, what new competences we need to do it, and how we should interact with our end users.

The Secret Power of Space

Tom Kelley of Ideo writes about the importance of space in learning and change. This face of innovation is that of the “set designer”:
“The Set Designer looks at every day as a chance to liven up their workspace. They promote energetic, inspired cultures by creating work environments that celebrate the individual and stimulate creativity. To keep up with shifting needs and foster continuous innovation, the Set Designer makes adjustments to a physical space to balance private and collaborative work opportunities. In doing so, this person makes space itself one of an organization's most versatile and powerful tools.”
In this post, Tom explains how the Cleveland Indians went through a major transformation by changing their stadium.

From Push to Pull

John Hagel discusses his new article for the McKinsey Quarterly - “Push to Pull – The Next Frontier of Innovation”. Co-authored with John Seely Brown, this article focuses on the developments similar to Web 2.0.
“Over the past century, institutions have been perfecting highly efficient approaches to mobilizing resources. These approaches may vary in their details, but they share a common foundation. They are all designed to 'push' resources in advance to areas of highest anticipated need. In the past decade, we have seen early signs of a new model for mobilizing resources. Rather than 'push', this new approach focuses on 'pull' – creating platforms that help people to reach out, find and access appropriate resources when the need arises.”

Tom Kelly Interview (podcast)

Tom Kelly talks at length (45 min) on the forces that drive innovation and the devils advocates that must be avoided. This is largely from this forthcoming book, Ten Faces of Innovation.

The 10 Faces of Innovation

Fast Company has published an exclusive excerpt from 10 Faces of Innovation, a new book by IDEO's David Tom Kelley. Cool stuff.

KM Asia 2005

KM Asia is back again. The 2005 event will be held in Singapore on 25-27 October. The lineup is quite remarkable with John Seely Brown, Larry Prusak and Dave Snowden giving keynote addresses. Even more enticing is the slew of workshops covering issues from narratives to social networks to innovation. The Ark Group were kind enough to make me their media partner. This gives me the opportunity to cover the event in its entirety. I'm all excited.

Batten Awards-2005 Finalists

From the Institute of Interactive Journalism:

"A national panel of judges has selected five finalists to win the 2005 Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism, honoring them for setting new standards for interactive journalism, advancing creativity in digital storytelling and recalibrating the role that news organizations play in their communities."

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