Where Ideas Come From?


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  • And in case you're wondering, your boss likely thinks that "Creativity" is an important quality to promote.
  • First, rarely do innovative ideas just pop out of nowhere. Most exceptional ideas begin life as a mere hunch...a half-baked thought that rattles around in our brain. Some of these keep us awake at night, NOTE: You can consider taking out this and the next 3 slides and replacing it with one that actually plays the YouTube video referenced. It’s very good and works well with audiences. If you need help embedding the video, let me know (Louis Richardson)
  • while others plant themselves in our mind and then might even go dormant for some period.
  • But what often happens is that your hunch is introduced to a hunch lurking about in someone else's head and
  • that collision results in the breakthrough thought...something bigger than just the sum of their parts.
  • So if these hunches are out there...who do they belong to?
  • Now I will warn you not to rush to find your organization chart. Many companies have Research and Development departments which are the source of good ideas, but most executives realize that often, good ideas come from the people working on the plant floor, the new kid stocking the shelves, people on the fringe of the mainstream...as well as customers and those looking at you from the outside.
  • As for your "creative" employees, do you think your personnel department is tracking them? Actually, we'll talk more about that in a minute.
  • But assuming the hunches are out there, how do you get these people to bring them out into the open? Picture in your head one of those people you know who has a history of inciteful and creative ideas.
  • I'm going to guess that it's unlikely they are the kind of person that's going to fill out a structured survey form.
  • Neither are they likely to respond to email distribution requests for their input. If these are the idea people, their email in-box is probably already overflowing with requests for help. So if you can't prescribe it, what do you do?
  • You want these hunches to be out there and available to bounce off of others. You're looking for knowledge accidents. Now you can use focus groups and other means to try to orchestrate innovative moments, but on a day-by-day basis you really need to just create an environment that is designed to spark these collisions.
  • The way you do that is...you open up the conversation...you do that in the context of the work that is already being done...and then you observe.
  • What do I mean by open up the conversation?
  • Think about how you and others in your company communicate with one another. If you are like most you use email, phone, text and face-to-face. Each of these are good communication methods, but they are often point-to-point.
  • You have a question...you think you know someone with the answer...you send them an email with your inquiry...and they respond back with the answer...but if that's where it ends, only you and the person you asked gain any benefit from that exchange. And email blasts with large distribution list or conference calls are usually to targeted audiences.
  • Johnson points out in his book that coffee houses in the age of enlightenment created a space where ideas could mingle and form and swap with one another and create new forms. The story is told that the beginning of our modern day GPS systems occured back in 1957, in a cafeteria at the cafeteria at the applied physics lab at John Hopkins. The first satelitte, Sputnik, was launched on a Friday and by Saturday it was the topic of everyone's conversation. The Soviets had designed Sputnik to emit a signal so everyone would know that it wasn't a hoax. So a couple of guys over lunch wondered "has anyone tried to listen?" So they did...and they noticed that from their listening positions they received variations in frequency based on whether it was approaching or overhead. And in 3 weeks they figured out the exact orbit. Someone overheard their conversation about their findings and asked, "So, you figured out an unknown location of a satellite orbiting the planet from a known location on the ground. Could you go the other way?" And they did. It turned out this person was trying to work out how to track missles for the military. Now it's advanced to where you have a pocket sized device that can easily find the nearest coffee house.
  • Social solutions are great tools for sharing ideas and hunches. They are very popular and extremely easy to use. However, let's remember...we need to open the conversation, but we must do it
  • in the context of our everyday. It has to fit in with YOUR business.
  • One problem we have is that the emergence of a social awareness has resulted in a wide range of social tools...from a wide range of vendors. The majority of which are targeted at the consumer market space. There are some that do wikis, others that do only chat, still others that help in sharing media.
  • While many of these are great individual tools, they might serve as a distraction if all tossed into your work environment. When I first meet many execs, their concept of social is built on these consumer tools and they see them as something very different from their work tools. And many would be. Work a while...Be social a while...work a while...be social. Not a formula for success.
  • And some of our business application vendors are seeing that social needs to be integrated into their apps, so many are actually attempting to embed social features around their individual apps.
  • The results of these efforts are just silos of social. Social has become the new "e" word. We used to have e-commerce, e-CRM...now we have social commerce and social CRM. It's not going to work...and what concerns me is that we've actually been down this route before.
  • When electronic content first came on the scene we were excited about the possible implications it would have on our business. I'm old enough to remember the early days of word processing. For people whose business was creating and capturing text, this worked. But for the mainstream business user, storing and managing content was an extra step outside their work process...so it didn't really have an impact.
  • Likewise, if we don't integrate social into the context of our everyday business, it's not going to result in the benefit we all expect.
  • We've opened the conversation, we've done that in the context of our everyday work, now it's time to listen and learn.
  • You need insight. You need the ability to look into your constituents conversation, to see what your competition is saying...to rapidly get feedback to enable you to respond quickly.
  • And while were on the subject of business intelligence...think back to our valued employees who have a wealth of hunches...the ones that you aren't even aware of.
  • We've always respected (and often protected) valued sales personnel because of the power of their Rolodex. A senior sales person was known and valued for the trusted relationships they had built. In a time where you might be deciding between one rep and another, the value of the Rolodex often came into play. I mean, how could you afford to lose all those contacts...because we know that if the rep went to a competitor, it's likely his trusted customers might go as well.
  • Now sales reps aren't the only one building trusted relationships. Consider the customer support rep who spends hours a day, often in the trenches...working through issues with customers. Many have developed deep relationships. Now consider that this support rep might be reaching out beyond their normal phone conversations and has established themselves as a source of information, both inside and outside their organization through blog postings and informational tweets. How do you know to protect and leverage this person, if you don't know who they are and what social value they have? You need to be able to listen and learn.
  • So the challenge for your company:
  • Open the conversation...social tools allow you to do that, but you have to do it in the context of your everyday work...IBM's social solutions are designed to be integrated into your business applications...and lastly, be prepared to listen and learn....otherwise you won't fully benefit from the power of your social network.
  • If you think this is something you'd like to pursue or know more about, please reach out to us. IBM has a long standing culture of open conversation, integrated into business and a rich heritage of listening and learning. And we are anxious to help you.
  • After all...anything less would just be...well anti-social.
  • Where Ideas Come From?

    1. 1. where ideas come fromleveraging your corporate knowledge
    2. 2. So how do you grow?
    3. 3. CEOs listed “creativity” as the most for the next 5 years… as reported in 2010 IBM important leadership quality study of 1500 CEOs
    4. 4. So how do you define and develop a“creative culture” in your organization?
    5. 5. It’s not about technology Technology is important, but it’s not the focus It’s about the culture
    6. 6. The slow hunch “Where Good Ideas Come From” by Steven JohnsonCredit graphics to RSA Animatehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU
    7. 7. The slow hunch “Where Good Ideas Come From” sometimes lays dormant by Steven JohnsonCredit graphics to RSA Animatehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU
    8. 8. When hunches collide… “Where Good Ideas Come From” by Steven JohnsonCredit graphics to RSA Animatehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU
    9. 9. When hunches collide… “Where Good Ideas Come From” you often get breakthroughs by Steven JohnsonCredit graphics to RSA Animatehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU
    10. 10. So…who are the people in yourorganization that have these “hunches”?
    11. 11. Don’t assume you know where they are They aren’t obvious
    12. 12. How do you keep track of them? More on this topic later
    13. 13. So if you want their hunches… how do you enlist them?
    14. 14. Are they the type to fill out surveys? I don’t think so
    15. 15. Mass mailings or email distribution lists? Wrong again
    16. 16. You can spark“Knowledge Accidents” the collisions
    17. 17. Creating “Knowledge Incidents” develop a “creative” cultureOpen up theconversationin the contextof everydaywork and thenlisten andlearn
    18. 18. 1) Open up the conversation
    19. 19. How do people inyour organization communicate?
    20. 20. When you have a question and someone elsegives you the answer…only the two of you benefit
    21. 21. The birth of GlobalCoffee houses and water coolers Positioning Systems
    22. 22. So how can you create‘virtual’ coffee houses?
    23. 23. People need to have an identity Profiles
    24. 24. People need to have an identity Tags
    25. 25. People need to belong Communities
    26. 26. People need to belong Teams
    27. 27. People have opinions and ideas Wikis
    28. 28. People have opinions and ideas Ideation Blogs
    29. 29. People have opinions and ideas Discussion Forums
    30. 30. People have opinions and ideas Blogs
    31. 31. People have opinions and ideas Micro Blogs
    32. 32. People find things to share Social Bookmarks
    33. 33. People find things to share Social Bookmarks
    34. 34. People create things to share Files
    35. 35. People create things to share Media
    36. 36. This is the stuff knowledge accidents are made of
    37. 37. Social solutions are great for sharing, butyou need to also consider the next part…
    38. 38. 2) in the context of everyday work
    39. 39. You may even have someMany vendors have social apps of these in your organization today
    40. 40. Specific socialbut these can be distracting applications for specific social needs
    41. 41. Some business application vendors are “Social” has become the new “e” wordattempting to make their apps more social
    42. 42. but this can create social silos around your business applications
    43. 43. Think back…we’ve actually gone this same route with content
    44. 44. Social will have little impact if it’s not It has to be part of your cultureintegrated in the context of your daily work
    45. 45. 3) and then listen and learn
    46. 46. You need insight
    47. 47. And back on the subject This is an area where HR may need some newof your people with hunches approaches
    48. 48. We’ve always recognized the value Customer contacts, relationships, of the salesperson’s rolodex conversations and trust
    49. 49. Now we need to recognize the business Social network, customer contacts, relationships, value of your active social users conversations and trust
    50. 50. So if you want your organization to grow you’re going to need a creative culture
    51. 51. So if you want your organization to grow you’re going to need a creative culture
    52. 52. IBM’s culture is one that appreciates and We can help you! encourages innovation and new ideas www.ibm.com/social
    53. 53. Anything less would be…just anti-social
    54. 54. questions?ideas? comments?
    55. 55. thank you it’s been my pleasure Louis Richardson Social Business Evangelist IBM RichardL@us.ibm.com www.twitter.com/inter_vivos www.linkedin.com/in/louisrichardsonI invite you to visit www.thecollaborationsoapbox.comYou can read any of the materials there, but I wouldsuggest you request to join the community so you cancontribute and comment.
    56. 56. disclaimer they make me do it© IBM Corporation 2011. All Rights Reserved.The information contained in this publication is provided for informational purposes only. While efforts were made to verify thecompleteness and accuracy of the information contained in this publication, it is provided AS IS without warranty of any kind,express or implied. In addition, this information is based on IBM’s current product plans and strategy, which are subject tochange by IBM without notice. IBM shall not be responsible for any damages arising out of the use of, or otherwise related to,this publication or any other materials. Nothing contained in this publication is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, creatingany warranties or representations from IBM or its suppliers or licensors, or altering the terms and conditions of the applicablelicense agreement governing the use of IBM software.References in this presentation to IBM products, programs, or services do not imply that they will be available in all countriesin which IBM operates. Product release dates and/or capabilities referenced in this presentation may change at any time atIBM’s sole discretion based on market opportunities or other factors, and are not intended to be a commitment to futureproduct or feature availability in any way. Nothing contained in these materials is intended to, nor shall have the effect of,stating or implying that any activities undertaken by you will result in any specific sales, revenue growth or other results.IBM, the IBM logo, Lotus, Lotus Notes, Notes, Domino, Quickr, Sametime, WebSphere, UC2, PartnerWorld and Lotusphereare trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Unyte is atrademark of WebDialogs, Inc., in the United States, other countries, or both.All references to Renovations refer to a fictitious company and are used for illustration purposes only.