Now that the SharePoint 2010 report on social computing is in the production queue, time to move on to my next report:
- Have economic realities impacted innovation efforts?
- Innovation is a broad term, what’s an effective way to categorize an initiatives scale and scope?
- How is social media helping innovation become more participatory?
- What use case scenarios illustrate how social tools augment innovation efforts?
Working Title: "Leveraging Social Media Within Innovation Strategies"
Target Audience: Innovation program managers, innovation project teams, decision-makers involved in collaboration and social media strategies, IT managers, architects, and others involved in knowledge management efforts.
Background: Innovation has been a re-occurring theme within organizations over the past decade. In the past, innovation efforts were often the purview of assigned groups and driven by formal processes (often with mixed results). Internally, the topic is sometimes considered an off-shoot of knowledge management (e.g., "ideation”). Externally, the term is associated with crowdsoucring. Fusing internal and external thinking and approaches towards innovation has become more the norm, leading to an “innovation renaissance” influenced by social media trends. Organizations are exploring use of social application to make innovation a more open and transparent activity co-owned by its participants. However, contributions from non-traditional participants (customers, employees) presents its own set of challenges in terms of community management, decision-rights, and business alignment.
Thesis: Management and R&D teams are no longer the only participants in an organization's innovation efforts. Social tools have made innovation a more open and transparent effort where customers and employees become active contributors. However, leveraging the free-flow of ideas needs some level of structure to transform ideas into actual business outcomes.