Friday, December 27, 2013

Innovation via Social Collaboration

If culture is a collective mindset;  and then innovation is collective imagination, inquisitiveness, improvement, inquisitiveness, and inspiration.

More often than not, innovation is a team work, not an individual effort, and the effective approach to foster innovation is through talent engagement and social collaboration.

Collaboration does create a sense of belonging. Collaboration is a fundamental part of what ultimately fueled inspiration, imagination, and innovation! Management must be supportive of any innovation or collaboration thrust, and teams must "own" their goals, also allows a team member to "belong" and its team leader to learn - motivate – persist. Part of the innovation capability coherence comes through the sense of ownership, which is different from managers "owning" their people. Identifying shared goals is a crucial collaboration success factor, collaboration not only propels innovation, and it’s the heart, soul, and DNA of innovation. 

Hyper-connectivity can foster innovation through collaboration. In other words, try to digitally connect key resources/assets in their vicinity/context to the resource-rich innovation hubs/clusters across the business ecosystem. In doing so, you can create the collegiality and "shared context for learning." That, in turn, should lead to "inspirations," that will further fuel more collaboration in innovative projects and enterprises nascent to their communities/environments. In addition, innovation must be a multi-disciplinary effort. The innovation collaboration teams embraced multiple disciplines, and understand how systems work, and this yielded a competitive advantage.

Diversity with cognitive difference can stimulate innovation. Since innovation is fundamentally about breaking assumptions, having more assumptions uncovered will lead to greater innovation. As we bring more people into the dialog, we increase the probability of those various assumptions surfacing as each person filters different things. Of course, that only works if those people are somewhat different from one another. Collaborating with entirely like-minded people probably won't yield results. The more diversified the team is, the more innovative the collaboration can turn to be.

The forefront of "social innovation": It is excellent to bring social media to this realm, to urge a sense of connection via virtual "conversations" beyond the confines of a blighted neighborhood. Organize around the vision and create a new context for it. You are already having an impact. But consider starting new conversations that galvanize inspiration and gain traction on a powerful theme of renewal and growth. One other point: collaboration and innovation based learning need patience and strategic support from management. 

Collaboration is at its essence, the intellectual harmony between humans (not clones): It is a system that is not scalable so easily. Every collaborative team will be different and hence, produce different results. So if you have a group that is doing exceptional work, it would behoove the company to maintain the balance of that group for as long as possible. If the collaboration is not bearing fruit, then, by all means, upset the apple cart and start anew. But don't expect your collaboration to be the same, and find your own balance and you will find your innovation.

Collaboration in the business & world requires a much higher degree of innovative thinking than the competition and winning. It is easy to work alone and take the attitude of competition, but it is much more difficult to collaborate with different parties even competitors. Sharing is about innovative compromise. Win-Win needs a lot of innovative effort. Recent neuroscience research has shown that our entire experience with our world is subjective, passing through numerous unconscious filters before we become aware of what we are seeing, hearing, or understanding.

As a result, no individual has a complete view of what is really happening around him or her, not mention the whole world.  Therefore, winning in the global economy means engaging innovative thinking, and strong collaboration.


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