The connected creativity

Below analysis summarizes this week’s most read articles under a single strategic story that defines our view of innovation. Innovation experts and analysts around the world shape innovation through organizations, universities, projects, ideas and communities. Under a collaborative effort to better drive change, innovation communities shape the story of our aspiration to build a sustainable future.

Innovation connects experiences

Humans shaping stories

Throughout our technological discussion on innovation, human connectedness appears as one specific driver business experts and young entrepreneurs are eager to develop so as to drive change.

My key take away from this is divergence enables healthier discussions and thinking, and moreover, to a certain extent it is necessary. I like Dionne Kasian-Lew’s way of presenting our connected minds in an online/offline mode. As she says, “The influence of technology, good and bad, is part of who we are right now. The self isn’t fixed, it’s constantly made and remade.” Connected thinking would there be like an on-going “author-reader” conversation, taken in different situations, read with even more diverging experiences. A culture in itself? This is what Vatsal Surti would like to share on Ideapod, a universal culture. As he says, “The place under our feet doesn’t define us anymore. Politics, as ideology, is losing its significance. Our ideas are on tumblr. A story can be anything.” Anything, he says.

Read More: Intentional Reading, WAI November 2014

One of the reasons to beseech such connection may be the will to expand sources for learning and stimulating new ideas in a growingly challenging ecosystem. Sharing both risks and benefits, innovation generates a wider impact.

We tend to be afraid of failure. We are taught to. Taking risk is not something you usually get rewarded for, and when you do, it feels “extraordinary”. While in fact, innovating often means taking a short term risk for mid to long term return, and it does frighten finance, risk-skeptic managers, project teams comfortable with “not so good” today. The reason for it being: it might not happen at all, it might fail. Think of all the things you could have done if you hadn’t been afraid to fail. This list is the failure. Trying hard and fail isn’t a failure. It is called learning. Strangely enough, innovation analysts and practitioners agree on one point: we are not taught to learn.

Read more: We Are Innovation because we fail, WAI August 2015

The Big Picture

Normal Life

The wider environment around innovation is shaping opportunities for experts and analysts to outline critical requirements beyond political and economics policies developed in this critical decision making time.

By defining both the frameworks and tools provided by a now closer digital revolution, analysts and innovation experts bring essential discussion points we need to bear in mind with regards to politics and economics:

  1. We need to bridge the gap between politics and citizenship to better define the necessary social and economics scheme that will build our digital future.
  2. We need to clearly identify the impact of digital on work structure and society by looking beyond business and growth potential and assess social threats.
  3. We need to clearly understand and learn from current economic struggles to define policies that anticipate risks and changes from a growing unstable environment.

Read more: The Digital Challenge, WAI August 2015

In parallel, technological and social developments require to bring more sense and a higher priority to human needs, such as equality of gender, but also smarter, safer, diversified interactions.

It may be that what matters most is the value of data. IBM Smarter Planet offers on Forbes a straightforward approach to benefit from it: “Take advantage, Monetize, Enrich and Protect the data.” New managers need fresh views. As Nicolas Glady from ESSEC Business School explains, Orange and the school deployed the “Data-Venue”, enabling researchers, companies and entrepreneurs to connect to a single platform and share knowledge and experience. Elucidat stresses how critical mobility experience is for e-learning, seeing an opportunity to “helping somebody work with and learn with a patient at a bedside, actually as they are doing it.” Ryan Fuller suggests a number of new indicators to evaluate performance, including collaborating times, interactions with managers. As he reports, “Now, with the ability to directly measure engagement, there is no telling what organizations and employees themselves will learn about what drives them.” Indicators should evolve as a result of social changes when unfortunately, other things remained the same. As Robin Ely explains for HBR: “In the end, we found not just achievement and satisfaction gaps between men and women, but a real gap between what women expect as they look ahead to their careers and where they ultimately land.”

Read more: The Disrupted Society and The Last Mile, WAI November 2014

Scoping the Digital Opportunity

New Management Styles

Across sectors and organizations, digitalization is seen as a priority lever for growth. Strategies deployed seek to embrace the variety of devices, formats, business models opportunities.

Banks also want to play the game. Sarah Clark from NFC World quotes RBC and writes: “With the addition of new mobile devices we are making the RBC Wallet more accessible to our clients through an additional platform and devices, ensuring that our users will continue to have the choice and flexibility that they have experienced in our traditional and online banking channels,” says Linda Mantia, executive vice-president for cards and payment solutions at RBC.

Read more: The Payment Chess Board, WAI November 2014 

Beyond the sector and industry level, entire regions organize their view of a digital future, investigating the economic potential while identifying critical improvement areas, and growing cultural, technical constraints.

Europe is embracing the digital economy, for a very good reason. As Alexandre Barth explains for Maddyness, “digital already represents 5,5% of French GDP and contributes to 25% of the annual growth”. There is a growth future in digital. The only step missing is to make it more concrete than virtual. There are a few reforms that need to take place first. The good news is: these reforms are underway, as reminds Jean Pisani-Ferry in his report “Rebalancing the governance of the euro area“. According to the author: “Never had Europe undertaken as many reforms in its history. Yet very few European leaders estimate that results of these reforms will be sufficient.” He mentions the “OHIO effect” (Own House In Order) as a remaining constraint to build a shared and sustainable growth across the euro zone.

Read more: Europe goes to the board, WAI June 2015

In parallel, breakthrough services and technologies are reaching market reality, unearthing questions that require a deeper analysis and thinking before considering any further move.

Technological advances are increasingly bringing AI closer to a market reality. Beyond technology, a shift seems to enable specialists to now foresee practical innovation and improvements enabled by AI.  Moreover, some experts start to describe another potential social change that would see entrepreneurship and new types of activities replace the jobs we leave to robots. This all has a taste of “too good to be true” and the “high scrutiny” reflected in the first part of this analysis balances this view.

Read more: AI, not artificial at all, WAI July 2015

Beyond social and sociological considerations, business models and infrastructure themselves are being reinvented and questioned, highlighting the depth of the revolution innovation experts seem to instigate. Although critical and necessary, this questioning resurgence stymies an apparent “gold nugget” effect surrounding digital and big data.

Although AI brings a strong appetite to market, the dependencies surrounding the delivery of adequate services and solutions seem to outweigh the business model maturity. With an on-going debate on long term value add of such services with regards to the economic changes AI may generate, and questions on human place in technology, experts and analysts provide a dynamic market overview of automation, machine learning and neural network researches, with the Internet of Things and Big Data as key enabler for future AI services.

Read more: The human questions behind AI business models, WAI September 2015

The choice is ours

The Digital Challenge.035

Innovation experts, analysts and practitioners prove to be highly creative in determining a smarter approach to innovation, so as to foster solutions that fit rapidly evolving constraints. Beyond technologies, digital, politics and economics, innovators seek to reach human emotions to generate actions.

As a way to create human links between businesses, products and customers, leaders and innovation practitioners develop storytelling based strategies that are shaping new approach and messages sent to market. As business becomes slightly more personal, individuals are driven back at the heart of strategies and creativity, generating new innovation potential closely linked to emotions, although developed with technology. How does innovation use storytelling to shape new markets?

Read more: Storytelling shapes the way we speak innovation, WAI July 2015

Furthermore, innovation communities have identified the value of connecting experiences. It is not about building volumes and scales, it is about refining sense and priorities. By outlaying a common scope for innovation, we eventually give ourselves the tools to be our own actor of change.

By creating communities and developing collaborative approach to change, innovators outline critical attitudes to innovate towards a better world. They encourage to trigger emotional strengths, team emulation and continuous learning. Innovation communities and organizations develop programmes which accentuate their value in their ecosystem while encouraging individual engagement. Three mains drivers to generate collaborative change are highlighted in our own communities today: Storytelling, Tech Clusters in Africa, and developing networks to unearth new ideas.

Read more: 3 ways to catalyze change through networks and communities, WAI October 2015

Embracing the opportunity to connect experiences and knowledge, experts and analysts highlight a global thinking framework to create the right ecosystem for a digitally led growth. While new services and business models disrupt our legacy approach to innovation, our connected professional and individual creativity appears as a key enabler of intelligent change. 

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