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Happy holidays, innovation enthusiasts, and welcome to Spigit’s 12 Days of Innovation! This 2014 spotlight series features hand-picked resources, upcoming events, webcasts, thought leadership pieces, and more to give you an inspirational boost for the coming year. Enjoy!
On the 8th day of innovation, we’d like to share with you: eight of our favorite innovation blogs we’ve published this past year, listed below in no particular order.
1. The Innovation Pipeline: The Ultimate Evolution of the Corporate Suggestion Box
“At the heart of any successful innovation process is the ability to capture and execute great ideas. So many organizations believe that ‘innovation’ is an ambiguous, serendipitous thing that’s both unpredictable and unmanageable; coupled with the pressure to continuously destroy boundaries and have breakthroughs, this belief is intimidating and stifling. Fortunately, it’s also unfounded.”
2. Innovation Currency: Banking on the Wisdom of the Crowd
“As the banking sector undergoes continual reform, its leaders are bracing themselves for job cuts they suspect will occur over the next three years. Stakeholders will most likely be taking an introspective look at existing challenges, and trying to find new customer propositions that will improve digital banking and reinvent the customer experience…It is likely that most of this innovation will be led top-down, but there’s an interesting tension here: the difference between what leadership “thinks” will work, versus what the frontline staff see and hear directly from their customers. Frontline workers — the cashiers and customer service representatives — are likely to see issues that managers might prefer to ignore and that senior management aren’t aware of.”
“Twenty years ago, businesses seeking to drive innovation initiatives had a limited number of touch points to consider, and few technology options. Back then, the majority of customer interactions involved one of three scenarios: face-to-face in a retail store or corporate office; over the telephone; or, in writing delivered via snail mail.
Fast forward to the now — my, how things have changed. Today, businesses serve customers through the aforementioned channels, plus a multitude of others, including web, e-mail, SMS/text, and social media.
As a result of this shift, mobile tech has become the vehicle through which businesses have to make innovation scalable. With the propagation of mobile devices, this now requires internal innovation management strategies that leverage a large, diverse, and often geographically dispersed workforce. Savvy enterprises are harnessing this profound power-shift to focus on the differentiation and strategic opportunities offered by mobile technology.”
4. Open Innovation: Inspiring Collaboration in the UN
“Collaboration, partnerships, and engaging with affected communities are not new ideals for humanitarian agencies. However many of them do struggle to regularly ensure that they are used effectively to improve their work on the ground. Humanitarian agencies can’t be compared like-for-like to commercial users of Spigit, because the harsh environments they work in across the world pose vastly different social, physical, and political challenges. Planning and project implementation is difficult in such unpredictable environments — from working in zones of conflict or the aftermath of a natural disaster, to long-term situations supporting people in refuge or poverty. Although flexible working is a core practice at organisations such as UNHCR, their global reach to 126 countries and thousands of staff means that bureaucratic systems have gotten in the way of specifically finding funding for new ideas, and learning from them for use in other locations. It is this culture of innovation that UNHCR have been recently interested in nurturing.”
5. Crowdsourcing is Becoming the Partner of Choice to Drive Innovation
“Crowdsourcing is quickly becoming the “partner of choice” to drive innovation. Companies from a variety of different industries are now tapping into the power of the crowd over segmented, internal innovation to launch new products or services…Crowd science, the attempt to map the success stories of crowdsourcing and apply mathematical models to trace a pattern and repeat the phenomenon, has been popularized recently. However, collaborative communities driving innovation have a long and rich history. These communities have been critical to the development of many innovative products, such as blast furnaces, Bessemer steel, Cornish pumping engines, and large-scale silk production.”
6. Global Innovation Index 2014: The Human Factor
“As we continue to explore the global effects of innovation, idea management, crowdsourcing, and data science, it’s beneficial to keep an eye on developments and shifting trends in regions all over the world — especially in relationship to the considerable impact innovation has on economics, politics, and emerging industries.
This year’s Global Innovation Index, an annual report that uses a wealth of data to rank world economies’ innovation capabilities and results, focuses on these aspects of innovation through the lens of human contributions on the individual and team level.”
7. Customer Collaboration and Innovation Strategy: Bringing Users into the Fold
“The complexities of selling, coupled with intense competition, have pushed businesses to turn to innovation strategy with the belief that innovating and creating with customers will help sustain business in the long-run.
Many businesses do a great job of connecting with consumers on a basic level through platforms like social media and blogging. Contests, comments, and teaser campaigns are an excellent way to interface with customers, but they can be inhibiting, because customer engagement through these mediums is based on shares, likes, and product or support ratings. But, by taking the user relationship a step further and involving them in your internal innovation processes, you can ideate and even co-create with them to come up with products and services that better meet their needs.”
8. Harnessing Humanitarian Innovation: Bettering the World One Idea at a Time
“Obvious as it sounds, every technological advancement, medical breakthrough, or creative masterpiece that exists in the world began with one very simple thing: an idea.
To be fair, having ideas isn’t always all that simple. Particularly in business settings, generating truly unique or innovative solutions is often an acute struggle; a battle of wit against resources, deadlines, and data. This is especially true for organizations focused on humanitarian innovation — they’re not only restricted by their own assets, but by the many regional, political, financial, geographical, and cultural aspects affecting the oppressed group or location they’re trying to service. Even the most brilliant concepts must be subjected to intense scrutiny and adaptation. Having a great idea is only the very, very beginning.”