Top 3 Innovation Trends and Issues – April


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What is happening in the innovation community right now? In this post, I give a quick overview of the top trends and issues based on the interactions and inspirations I have had over the last month or so.

1. User-driven innovation – does it work?

How valuable is user input for innovation? This is a classic discussion that picked up more steam with this article, User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and IKEA, by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen who states that companies should lead their users, not the other way around.

The article spurred lots of re-tweets, comments and a several counter-articles such as this one by Chris Grams, User-led innovation can’t create breakthroughs. Really?, and this one by Erin Young, Counterpoint: Does Apple Value User Research?.

The topic has also surfaced on several of my recent client meetings. Classic topic, but it can still get the discussions going.

2. Smartfailing – learning from failure

This started last year and it just continues to be a hot topic. One clear sign is the on-going flow of quality articles that provides insights on how to better learn from failure.

Here are some examples:

Today’s Innovation Can Rise from Yesterday’s Failure

Wanna Solve Impossible Problems? Find Ways to Fail Quicker

Admitting Failure

Fail Bigger Cheaper: A Three Word Manifesto

The Positive Power of Failure

A Failure That Still Haunts Me

Failure is Failure

Why Failure Drives Innovation

I will also host a panel on smartfailing at the upcoming 3rd Annual Open Innovation Summit, which takes place in Chicago on August 10-12. The panelists are Chris Thoen from P&G, Andy Gilicinski from Clorox and John Johnson from PepsiCo. This will be a great discussion…

3. Social media tools

Yes, this is one of my favorite personal topics, but it is also something that is picking up interest among clients, in blogs/media and at conferences. The intersection of social media tools and (open) innovation seems to draw interest as these topics are still at their early stages while showing lots of promise.

You can read more on this here: Social Media Tools and Open Innovation: An Overview

What other trends, key issues and challenges do you see out there?


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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