11 ways innovation craves diversity

The Daily Pick takes you through top shared innovation stories on WAI social networks.

As innovation experts enter a new year, they remind the importance of exploring options under varying angles, listing views that unite and those that divide, understanding the human benefits laying beyond our next business choices. By doing so, they underline the value of differences as well as our constant ability to challenge evidence while searching for intelligent information. Because customers and partners remain emotional beings, innovation experts also outline our need to favor sense over data by emphasizing experience and including change in development processes, turning ourselves into social learners seeking to develop smarter innovation.

#1 We need fresh questions

“According to Thomas Kuhn, the historian of science who first put forth the modern concept of a paradigm shift, dramatic change doesn’t happen when people in a field come up with new answers. Rather, the shift occurs because people are drawn to new examples — newly noticed phenomena — that lead them to ask new questions.”

Read more: Art Kleiner, Strategy & Business Magazine

#2 We need common denominators

“Listing points of agreement reveals common interests that help lay the groundwork for joint problem solving. And they almost always outnumber points of disagreement when you include desired outcomes, values, and other broader items.”

Read more: Eric J. McNulty, Strategy & Business

#3 We seek happiness

“I felt empowered and excited by my ability to make things happen, and I armed myself with information by reading books about freelancing and consulting, talking to people who had set up their own businesses, going to events where I met like-minded people. I also realized that the security I had felt in my previous job was an illusion; people get fired, departments are restructured, companies fold. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a job that makes you unhappy.”

Read more: Quora, INC

#4 We find creativity in differences

“The common traits that people across all creative fields seemed to have in common were an openness to one’s inner life; a preference for complexity and ambiguity; an unusually high tolerance for disorder and disarray; the ability to extract order from chaos; independence; unconventionality; and a willingness to take risks.”

Read more: Carolyn Gregoire Scott Barry Kaufman, Quartz

#5 We challenge evidence

“To get better results in this complex world, we must be willing to shake the intuition that certainty should be our highest priority. We must draw on, generate, and apply a broader range of evidence to take account of at least five factors that we have largely neglected in the past:

  1. The complexities of the most promising interventions
  2. The practice-based evidence that spotlights the realities and subtleties of implementation that account for success
  3. The importance of fitting interventions and strategies to the strengths, needs, resources and values of particular populations and localities
  4. The heavy context-dependence of many of the most promising interventions
  5. The systematic learning and documentation that could inform future action”

Read more: Lisbeth B. Schorr, SSIR

#6 We thrive to be intelligently informed


“To say that the digital marketing industry moves rapidly would be a considerable understatement. With everyone moving fast and breaking things, it’s easy to fall behind on the news that really matters.”

Read more: Dan Shewan, Wordstream

#7 We genuinely care


“This is exactly what we see lying at the heart of every study looking into what’s behind those persistent low levels of employee engagement in organizations around the world – a lack of genuine communication between leaders and those under their care.”

Read more: Tanveer Naseer

#8 We favor sense over data

“This makes it clear that businesses are finding more and more ways to turn data into value, but at the same time, the report found, many are hitting stumbling blocks which are frustrating those efforts. Just 34% of respondents said that they feel their organizations are “very effective” at being transparent with customers about how data is used. And 9% say they feel that they are “totally ineffective” in this area, which can be very detrimental to building the all-important customer trust.”

Read more: Bernard Marr, Forbes

#9 We emphasize experience

“Experiences are more than just facts and features. They create a story based on an actual experience. When you tell a story about your brand, it does not just sit in the minds of your readers but it also sits deeper into their hearts.”

Read more: Jane Danes, SocialBarrel

#10 We include change in our processes

“During the dot-com boom, start-ups often operated in “stealth mode” (to avoid alerting potential competitors to a market opportunity), exposing prototypes to customers only during highly orchestrated “beta” tests. The lean start-up methodology makes those concepts obsolete because it holds that in most industries customer feedback matters more than secrecy and that constant feedback yields better results than cadenced unveilings.”

Read more: Steve Blank, HBR

#11 We are social learners

“There’s been endless debate over the last few years as to whether or not social media marketing is dead. Recently, the Content Marketing Institute finally put the debate to rest — or tried to — with a podcast arguing that social media isn’t actually dead, we’re just using it wrong. That’s the bad news.”

Read more: Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur

Diversity as a success story

Innovation and Diversity
Beautiful Diversity – Part 1: Diversity as a success story

By integrating both internal and external views into idea generation, development processes and open innovation strategies, businesses and organizations showcase the value of diversity to optimize inspiration, problem-solving, change management and customer relationships. Those approaches enable to apprehend diversity beyond the usual gender, ethnic and religious scopes that are developed by analysts, press and media. Instead, innovation experts encourage us to embrace human differences as a whole as a way to understand the value of connecting varying skill sets and mindsets to better define adaptive solutions in a growingly complex innovation ecosystem.


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