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Innovating in the social space

  1. 1. Innovating in the social space By Robin Low
  3. 3. PART 1
  4. 4. Innovation • Innovation does not mean only IT solutions – Unnecessary tech is simply a waste of money • Innovation starts from within, corporate culture needs to support innovation. • Innovation comes in big and small, there is change to small. • When you innovate, change will happen, change needs to be managed.
  5. 5. Barriers to Innovation FEAR 1) Fear of failing and uncertainty. – When it has not be done before, there is much fear that it will not succeed, and often cause organizational paralysis 2) Fear of looking stupid. – Many executives don’t like to learn new skills, egos are at stake and they don’t want to look like amateurs.
  6. 6. Barriers to Innovation EXPERIENCE 3) Knowledge can be a crutch. – Knowing too much of a subject may cause executives not to take in new ideas and reject facts contrary to their experience. 4) Outdated knowledge. – Many executives graduated years ago and their idea of technology is often outdated and they do not take the time to learn new skills.
  7. 7. Your Organization • Your employees need to know your tagline and mission statement. Executive should demonstrate it, and it should be part of corporate culture. • Motivation is key for innovation, employees need to feel ownership and they are empowered to make a difference
  8. 8. Don’t chase perfection • Creating something revolutionary is never perfect. • Don’t wait, there is no perfect time to try and launch. • Don’t worry about working on a new process or product. • Remember, the first laser printer is crap, but it is a revolutionary crap.
  9. 9. Haters will hate • There will always be people that will hate any sort of change, whether it is good or bad. • All products and services will polarize people. • Remember, there will also be a subset of people that will love the product.
  10. 10. Communicate well • For every innovation, you need to sell it. The leader needs to share the thoughts behind the innovation and communicate the benefits and values. • Use the 10-20-30 rule: create 10 slides for a 20-minute presentation, and use 30-point font. • Tailor presentation to audience.
  11. 11. Think beyond norms spark innovation • Use design thinking? • Combining mundane methods together may create a new solution. • In a share economy, don’t think of innovating alone.
  12. 12. PART 2
  13. 13. Design thinking
  14. 14. Experience of Design Thinking
  15. 15. Innovation is tied to empathy • Empathy is the foundation to Design thinking as well • Lived experience of the end user (or beneficiary) is key.
  16. 16. Empathy Fail
  17. 17. Empathy Fail
  18. 18. A bad system will defeat a good person every time -- Edwards Demming
  19. 19. Empathy What is Empathy? Empathizing means getting out of the office and interacting with beneficiaries or end users, living in their shoes, before you design the programs, and throughout the process to make sure you are on the right track.
  20. 20. Tools of Empathy • Interviews • Observation / immersion You are not looking for what they think they want – you are looking for what they need, based on what they do • Engaging in the program as an end user • Free yourself from expectations and assumptions. • Do careful recordings.
  21. 21. Define • Define the design challenge, what is the problem that we are trying to solve?
  22. 22. Steps to define • Collect impression / images • Pay attention to emotions, motivations and context • Post • Clutter • Notice Patterns • Identify themes • Notice contradictions • Discuss • Draft
  23. 23. Evaluate design challenge Further it • Broad enough to discover unexpected value • Narrow enough to be managable
  24. 24. Ideate • Use various ideation techniques 1. Questioning assumptions 2. Opportunity redefinition 3. Wishing 4. Triggered brainwalking 5. Semantic intuition 6. Picture prompts 7. Worst idea http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2013/05/30/the-7-all-time-greatest-ideation-techniques/
  25. 25. Prototype
  26. 26. How to prototype • Create a MVP (Minimal Viable product) • This can be a – Storyboard – Roleplay – Rough Model – 3D printing / laser cutting / making – Brainstorming Prototyping is to think, learn and build quickly.
  27. 27. Test • Involve end user or beneficiaries to try the prototype. • Pivot • (Revise if needed)
  28. 28. However… While these key steps have proven that it can deliver creativity to organization by providing qualitative value in innovation, it’s strength becomes its weakness because these steps are insufficient and unconnected to the reality. Therefore, innovation cannot happen until and unless there is an equal input from Business Thinking http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/02/25/why-design-thinking-will-fail/
  29. 29. Flaws in design thinking? • Design consultancies that promoted Design Thinking were, in effect, hoping that a process trick would produce significant cultural and organizational change. • In a few companies, CEOs and managers accepted that mess along with the process and real innovation took place. In most others, it did not. • Design thinking assumes that your beneficiaries CANNOT solve problems on their own, and you are NEEDED to solve it for them.
  30. 30. PART 3
  31. 31. Innovation is only made by motivated people
  32. 32. Inducing Innovation • Working climate must be forgiving and understanding • Working environment and hierarchy must allow mistakes and failures to happen and learn from them, rather than penalize teams and employees who make them.
  33. 33. Understand • Innovation can be driven from a true understanding of the problem or need. • You need a team with good knowledge of the beneficiary or customer or users of the product or service to define and develop solutions that the innovation concerns. • Beneficiaries are often capable to come up with good solutions. Get them involved to solve their problems, so they OWN the solution. CROWDSOURCE
  34. 34. True Innovation • True innovation bring value to the receiver and provider of the solution. It’s a win-win relationship, resulting in a long term sustainable relationship rather than a transaction. • True innovation will not happen the first time, and will get better with iterations.
  35. 35. Learn • Learn from failures instead of sweeping it under the carpet. • Sometimes trying something, knowing it will fail may yield unexpected learning outcomes. • Knowing and going through failures make solutions more sustainable with improvements and variations.
  36. 36. Consequence • Innovation is often a consequence of positive culture, behavior and positive working environment.
  37. 37. PART 4
  38. 38. Ask the Right Questions
  39. 39. Positive Mindset • Think positive, everything is possible. • Instead of asking, “Can a handicapped person drive?”, framing the question differently can be empowering to think deeper, ask, “How can a handicapped person drive?” • Changing from “Can” to “How Can” questions the premise instead of the person.
  40. 40. Focus • Have clear objectives you want to achieve. • It is good to have some small innovation to boost confidence, but focus on things that make the biggest difference or achieve greatest impact. • Don’t focus on activity. Raise level of ambition.
  41. 41. New Blood • Innovation can come from new hires as well. • Instead of looking for people with the excellent qualifications, finding the right candidate with the right attitude and having a good induction program may be cheaper too. • Forget probation and training, have a good support system to ensure they don’t fail. • Personalize support, focus on people’s strength, and give them what they need.
  42. 42. New Blood • Start referrals. Get employees/volunteers to bring friend/consultants to support activities. Get funding and pay fairly. Leveraging on relationships, you may find great people. Some of them may donate money too! • Use technology and social tools to engage new hires and volunteers. Make it fun. • Think about the team. When a new person joins the team, dynamics change and broaden focus on the team to support as well.
  43. 43. PART 5
  44. 44. Leading Innovation • While senior executives cite innovation as an important driver of growth, few of them explicitly lead and manage it. • As with any top-down initiative, KPI driven executives chase short term goals. Innovation is inherently associated with change and takes attention and resources away from achieving those goals. • Executives pay lip service to innovation but doing nothing about it, inhibiting it.
  45. 45. Other Inhibitors • The failure of executives to model innovation—encouraging behavior, such as risk taking and openness to new ideas, places second. • Rewarding nothing but short-term performance and maintaining a fear of failure also make it to the top of the list of inhibitors.
  46. 46. How to Advance Innovation? • Define the kind of innovation that drives growth and helps meet strategic objectives. – When senior executives ask for substantial innovation in the gathering of consumer insights, the delivery of services, or the customer experience, for example, they communicate to employees the type of innovation they expect. In the absence of such direction, employees will come back with incremental and often familiar ideas.
  47. 47. How to Advance Innovation? • Add innovation to the formal agenda at regular leadership meetings. – This approach sends an important signal to employees about the value management attaches to innovation.
  48. 48. How to Advance Innovation? • Set performance metrics and targets for innovation. – Leaders should think about two types of metrics: the financial and the behavioral. • What metrics would have the greatest effect on how people work? How new innovation could save current cost by 20% within 3 years. • Another established targets for potential fundraising from new ideas in order to ensure that they would be substantial enough to affect its performance. Leaders can also set metrics to change ingrained behavior, such as the “not invented here” syndrome, by requiring 25 percent of all ideas to come from external sources.
  49. 49. Innovation Network • Since new ideas seem to spur more new ideas, networks generate a cycle of innovation. • Furthermore, effective networks allow people with different kinds of knowledge and ways of tackling problems to cross-fertilize ideas. • By focusing on getting the most from innovation networks, leaders can therefore capture more value from existing resources, without launching a large-scale change-management program.
  50. 50. Innovation Network • Middle managers generally are the ones with the most negative attitude toward innovation and were also the most highly sought after for advice about it. • They served as bottlenecks to the flow of new ideas and the open sharing of knowledge. • Either get a network of middle managers to generate bigger and newer ideas or connect senior management to the innovation network.
  51. 51. Innovation Network
  52. 52. What Inhibits Innovation
  53. 53. Building Trust • The cultural attributes that inhibit innovation: a bureaucratic, hierarchical, and fearful environment. • Corporate-wide change programs not only are daunting and time consuming but also often have only a limited impact. • Top teams can help build a more innovative culture.
  54. 54. Building Trust • Embrace innovation as a top team. – It’s not enough for the CEO to make innovation a personal goal and to attend meetings on innovation regularly. Members of the top team must agree that promoting it is a core part of the company’s strategy, reflect on the way their own behavior reinforces or inhibits it, and decide how they should role-model the change and engage middle management.
  55. 55. Building Trust • Turn selected managers into innovation leaders. – Identify managers who already act, to some degree, as network brokers and improve their coaching and facilitation skills so that they can build the capabilities of other people involved in innovation efforts more effectively. The goal: making networks more productive.
  56. 56. Building Trust • Create opportunities for managed experimentation and quick success. – This approach is the best way to start any change effort in large organizations. – Quick success matters even more with innovation: people need to see results and to participate in the change. – To get going quickly and learn along the way, select an innovation theme or topic area and then create small project teams.
  57. 57. Building Trust • Create opportunities for managed experimentation and quick success. – While you try out topics and ideas, test the most effective leadership and organizational approaches for your organization. – The goal isn’t to get it right the first time but to move quickly to give as many influential employees as possible a positive experience of innovation, even if a project doesn’t generate profits immediately. – A positive experience will make all the difference in building the organization’s capabilities and confidence.
  58. 58. Final Words • Innovation is a big idea with big potential. • Be sure to prototype it and work in small steps, implementing one or few ideas and grow the team. • Be sure to create value and have fun!
  59. 59. For more information join in the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/socialhub