The Future Winners of Innovation Get Social Media

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As I having an increasingly number of interactions with companies interested in learning more about how they can use social media for their innovation efforts, I am realizing that a specific discussion based on a few questions in particular get people thinking:

Here is the first question I ask:

How many important innovation partners do you have within your corporate umbrella (across your business units)?

This typically ranges from 10 – 300 with the latter being huge international companies. Then I ask a few other questions:

What would happen if these partners were able to interact with each other? Could this bring value to your company?

The thing is that most companies only maintain one-to-one relationships with these partners. This is how it has been for ages and many companies don’t see any reason to change this because they only focus on their own situation. However, as more and more innovation happens in communities and ecosystems, you need to begin looking beyond your own nosetip and find ways to connect your partners with each other. If this is done right, everyone will benefit. One benefit being that you create a better framework for disruptive innovation as I discussed in this post: Social Media and Disruptive Innovation

Next question: How can you make this happen?

Most people immediately start thinking about physical networks and properties here. Face-to-face interactions are important, but they need to understand that the virtual offerings (communities, virtual collaboration tools, social media, idea generation and management software) are getting more and more advanced. They need to develop a new mindset and new skills within their organization in order to tap into this potential.

We are still at the very early stages of using social media for innovation efforts, but I believe the visionaries – those who dare to look 2 years out trying to understand what could happen happen on the intersection of social media and open innovation – will have a good change of being the future innovation winners.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Stefan Lindegaard
Stefan is an author, speaker, facilitator and consultant focusing on open innovation, social media tools and intrapreneurship.

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