5 Social Innovation Trends In 2011

by Jay Deragon on 12/21/2010

Markets tend to move based on innovation that improves buyer experiences and productivity. Market leaders know this and constantly seek ways to innovate.

Trends In Thinking About Innovation

Most organizational leaders understand the importance of innovation but fail to manage its pursuit effectively. There are many flaws in organizational management of innovation, including process shortcomings and a lack of business discipline that result in internal barriers to success. Additionally, most organizations are risk-aversion and  fail to learn from past mistakes in pursue of innovation. Past innovation failures are most commonly attributed to incorrect pricing, failure to meet customer needs, and being late to market, which can be mitigated by improving management processes and leadership thinking. Innovation starts and ends with thinking differently.

The Digital Economy Is Driven By Innovation

The digital economy perpetuates innovation and causes markets to migrate rapidly towards creation. Innovation comes from cross functional ideation contributed by crowds of wisdom. The digital economy is fueling innovation as the masses contribute dialog about anything and everything with much of the focus being on how and what can be improved. The traditional economy is sluggish while the digital economy is booming. The irony is that the economics of the digital economy are created by the exchanges of value represented by minds meshing together for common causes. While Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and the hundreds of other well know pillars of the digital economy are measured by traditional economics the leaders measure the economic indicators of the digital economy.

The economy is now a networked economy. “Information goods” are becoming more important than traditional goods. Online businesses are a more substantial driving force than brick-and-mortar establishments. Some people even say that in this networked world centralized managerial hierarchies are obsolete; in the future, they will be replaced by decentralized, disaggregated, peer-to-peer communities. The ways in which digital technology makes the non-commercial production and dissemination of information goods viable opens up vast new horizons of economic theory.It is the innovation of the digital economy that is capturing the attention of all markets.

5  Trend Indicators of Innovation in 2011?

You may of thought this post was going to define specific technology that will fuel innovation in 2011. Instead we will define the type of behavior and thinking that fuels innovation. Find the people and organizations with these behaviors and you’ll find the next breakthrough innovation which will attract markets in 2011. While the output of a product or service may be innovative it is the thinking behind them that created the innovation.

The 5 Indicators are:

  1. Look for those who understand “Associating.” Associating is a cognitive skill that allows creative people to make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas. Past thinking and management mentality has encouraged dis-association of information, knowledge and ideas that do not fit into the silos of thought. Thus creative problem solving and innovation have been squashed.
  2. Look for those who never stop asking questionsan ability to ask “what if”, “why”,  “where”, “when, “who”, “how” and “why not” questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture.The digital economy connects everything and to not ask questions begs a disconnection with the needs of the human network.
  3. Look for those that closely observe the details of people’s behavior. Those that pay attention to human behavior will understand how to meet the intents of the human network. Meeting and exceeding those intents can only be accomplished by adding value through innovation.
  4. Look for those that experimentthe people and organizations whom will bring us innovation are those who are constantly trying on new experiences and exploring new worlds.Follow the management behavior of Facebook and Google. What do they do non-stop? Experiment!
  5. Look for those seeking new knowledge…. these people and organizations are really good at networking with crowds of wisdom who have little in common with each other, but they migrate around crowds they can learn from.

The great opportunity for social innovation built by the digital economy is the ability to purposely seek crowds whose thinking and behavior demonstrate the above 5 indicators of innovation on the horizon.   These indicators will  vastly increase the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity which will fuel 2011 and beyond.

Start looking and following these indicators.

{ 1 comment }

julia ramsay September 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

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