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Ict trends innovation and idea management

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Ict trends innovation and idea management

  1. 1. How Idea Management Platforms Will Empower Collaborative Computing Technologies to Overcome the Innovation Challenge among Distance Workers By Rey Villar Nurturing Innovation with Distance Workers
  2. 2. Distance Innovation Introduction Collaborative computing for distance, work-from-home or remote workers was at the center of many debates and discussions this past spring and summer. In the process, it revealed one of the perceived failings of distance working: the difficulty with stimulating, facilitating and nurturing innovation. Regardless of whether this perception is true, or not, this presentation will explore the evolving challenge of nurturing innovation among distance workers – through collaborative computing. 2
  3. 3. Distance Innovation Introduction Collaborative computing technology is at the heart of this debate, and the solution to this challenge will inevitably involve evolving collaborative computing systems. Although additional collaborative computing hardware may emerge to help in the future, the proposed solution focuses on software. • Available. These solutions are available, but not yet widely used. • Multipurpose. They also serve co-located workers. • Fictional. For the purpose of this presentation, we’ll focus on a fictional mortgage loan company. 3
  4. 4. Distance Innovation Background 4 On February 22, 2013, Yahoo issued an internal memo that effectively curtailed or banned Yahoo! employees from regularly working from home, starting on June 1. According to Swisher’s (2013) reproduction of that memo, Yahoo!’s stated reason for this move was to encourage more interaction: To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices.
  5. 5. Distance Innovation Introduction: the Need for Innovation 5 For many commentators, however, the real motivating factor was innovation. In an interview with Cherry (2013), John Sullivan of San Francisco State University explained: And so the answer is, the only way to beat Apple is to out-innovate Apple. The only way to beat Google is to out-innovate Google. And since Marissa (Mayer) comes from Google, as you mentioned, she knows they have tons of data to show that there’s a formula for innovation. There’s a way to improve innovation. There’s a way to become a serial innovator.
  6. 6. Distance Innovation Challenge 6 Collaborative computing technologies have allowed distanced (and global) employees and contractors to work productively and efficiently, even when they’re thousands of miles away from each other. For companies in technology and other industries that demand innovation, that productivity, however, is not enough. The next challenge is how collaborative computing technology can be used to nurture and facilitate innovation.
  7. 7. Distance Innovation Defining Innovation 7 Innovation is distinct from creativity or invention, though it is related. As Schlough (2009) wrote: In addition to having a unique idea, the innovation process consists of many other activities. These activities include such things as refining the design, building prototypes, having a market plan and the distribution system. For companies like Yahoo! Innovation involves generating new ideas and driving them into distribution, while also improving existing products.
  8. 8. Distance Innovation Example: Direct Mortgage Loans Express 8 Direct Mortgage Loans Express is an online-only direct lender of mortgage loans. Its digital marketing team is tasked with generating website visitors (and loans) and building the company’s brand – without having any brick-and-mortar retail shops in any of the 40 states it serves. The team competes in a dynamic and competitive digital arena, against established banks and aggressive lead- generation sites.
  9. 9. Distance Innovation Example: Direct Mortgage Loans Express 9 • Origin. The startup launched 10 years ago with a small staff that relied on specialists who worked remotely and with contractors all over the world. • New direction. Four years ago, a newly hired CEO required all employees to work in-office to encourage more innovation. • Turnover. High turnover actually hindered innovation as so much time was spent onboarding new hires. • Recruiting. HR had a harder time recruiting talent, as skilled workers demanded more flexible environments.
  10. 10. Distance Innovation Proposed Collaborative Computing Environment 10 The CEO agreed to test a new strategy with just the digital marketing team and challenged the team with three objectives: 1. Implement a more flexible system that could allow for more remote workers 2. Find technology that can nurture innovation, especially with remote workers. 3. Prove that collaborative computing can help remote workers deliver the innovation the company needed to compete with rivals.
  11. 11. Distance Innovation Idea Laboratory 11 With Google’s example, the “no work from home” policy has become a widely adopted business theory for providing the serendipitous interactions that supposedly produce innovations. But as Nilles (2013) pointed out in his blog: The serendipity factor in those chance meetings in the hallway or the cafeteria is impossible if those meetings don’t occur, so the theory goes. Recently Bell Labs has been held up as the epitome of creativity and innovation and therefore as proof of these assumptions. The problem with that is that Bell Labs, at least during the period of its existence, comprised projects that were almost entirely location dependent… The keyword here is labs.
  12. 12. Distance Innovation Idea Laboratory 12 Nilles (2013) goes on to say: So the comparison of Bell Labs with Yahoo or Google is false; both of these latter organizations are primarily information factories. Given the information technologies available today neither of these organizations is particularly location dependent. So the question is whether it is possible to be creative or innovative outside a centralized organization.
  13. 13. Distance Innovation Innovation Doesn’t Require Proximity 13 Robert (2013) goes further in debunking the belief that workplace innovation necessarily requires co-location: Collaboration and innovation are emergent social processes. They are often aided by informal non-task communications. By comparison organizational researchers and practitioners have not given much attention to understanding how to facilitate informal non-task related communications. In fact, ironically, many organizations have discouraged their employees from using organizational resources to engage in non-task related informal communications needed to facilitate collaboration and innovation.
  14. 14. Distance Innovation Innovation is the Process of Idea Management 14 Kastelle (2010) recognized what companies who demanded more innovation really needed: Innovation is the process of idea management… There are three key components to it: idea generation, idea selection & implementation, and idea diffusion. They’re not really sequential either – they feed each other. You need to do all three well to innovate successfully. Central to all of it are people and processes.
  15. 15. Distance Innovation Recommended Collaborative Computing Solution 15 The digital marketing team decided that innovation did not have to rely just on serendipity. • Ideas. The team focused on the “idea” side of innovation and focused on tools that can help remote workers develop and nurture innovation/ideas. • SharePoint. Since the company already used SharePoint, they also looked at solutions that can be integrated with SharePoint. • Intentional. Although they also wanted to encourage serendipitous innovation, the team also wanted to encourage and elicit intentional innovations.
  16. 16. Distance Innovation Recommended Collaborative Computing Factors 16 The team looked for innovation solutions with the following features: • Lab. The system should offer virtual laboratories that allow users to develop and nurture ideas. • Social. It must incorporate many of the social media tools, interactivity and engagement features found in many social networks and social media platforms. • Intuitive. The system must have an intuitive design for easy implementation and use. • Virtual serendipity. The system should offer messaging and alerts to stimulate unexpected ideas.
  17. 17. Distance Innovation Recommended Collaborative Computing Solution 17 The team recommended SpigitEngage because of its ability to encourage interaction and nurture ideas. • Game mechanics. The software highlighted and rewarded active participants and contributors. • Visibility. Relevant ideas are displayed in all search results conducted by SharePoint users. • Turnkey. The web part can be installed quickly into SharePoint and is out-of-the-box ready. • Social network. At the heart of idea management tools like Spigit Engage is an environment that encourages more interaction.
  18. 18. Distance Innovation Alternative Solutions 18 The digital marketing team also considered other idea management systems, such as the following: • Induct • Lumoflow • DataStation • Wazoku And while a few did match many of the features offered by SpigitEngage, they were not available as SharePoint web parts. Alternative (non-SharePoint) systems would take longer to implement – and were not integrated to the company’s collaborative computing platform.
  19. 19. Distance Innovation Analysis: Impact on the Organization 19 “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Even with the implementation of an idea management web part into the SharePoint system and the integrated social tools, not everyone participated regularly. Solving the technical side of the challenge was on track, but the human and social side still needed work.
  20. 20. Distance Innovation Analysis: Organizational Changes 20 So the team made four changes to encourage even more participation: • Challenges. The team gathered and used specific innovation challenges to motivate more discussion. • Scheduled. The team scheduled weekly innovation sessions, as well as physical get-togethers. • Bonuses. The team increased rewards for outstanding ideas and participation. • Goals. The team incorporated participation as a minor factor in individual employee goals.
  21. 21. Distance Innovation Summary 21 Although many of these idea management software and apps are already available, they are not yet widespread. As more businesses embrace the need for both distance workers (empowered by collaborative computing) and innovation, evolving idea management systems may soon see widespread adoption of these innovation platforms in the coming years.
  22. 22. Bibliography
  23. 23. Distance Innovation Cherry, S. (2013). Telecommuting and Yahoo's desperate need for innovation. IEEE Spectrum. Retrieved from http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/at-work/tech-careers/telecommuting- and-yahoos-desperate-need-for-innovation Kastelle, T. (2010). Innovation is the process of idea management. Innovation for Growth. Retrieved from http://timkastelle.org/blog/2010/05/innovation-is-the-process-of-idea- management/ Nilles, J. (2013). Yahoo! and creativity: Part 2. JALA Thoughts. Retrieved from http://www.jalahq.com/blog/?p=406 Robert L. (2013). Collaboration at a distance. University of Michigan School of Information Monthly. Retrieved from http://monthly.si.umich.edu/2013/05/15/collaboration-at-a-distance/ Bibliography
  24. 24. Distance Innovation Schlough, S. (2009). What is information communication technology? (page 1). Retrieved from course at University of Wisconsin – Stout. Spigit Engage Product Description. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.spigit.com/products/spigitengage/ Swisher, K. (2013). “Physically Together”: Here’s the internal yahoo no- work-from-home memo for remote workers and maybe more. All Things Digital. Retrieved from http://allthingsd.com/20130222/physically- together-heres-the-internal-yahoo-no-work-from-home-memo-which- extends-beyond-remote-workers/ Bibliography
  25. 25. How Idea Management Platforms Will Empower Collaborative Computing Technologies to Overcome the Innovation Challenge among Distance Workers By Rey Villar Nurturing Innovation with Distance Workers

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