Can you “sensespeak” innovation?

Innovation often comes down to language. Development languages, “buzzwords”, keywords seem to be dictating innovation cultures instead of products, concepts and ideas. New codes arise in an ever changing technological environment, challenging organizations’ ability to articulate visions and operations, cooperations, into timely and customer centric innovation projects. Entrepreneurs and change makers across sectors pave ways to new management approaches focusing on ethics and open knowledge, adapting their influence tools to do so. This new Innotrends describes how businesses and enterprises create unique innovation experiences through partnership cultures, philosophy and emotions.

The partnership culture

One of the strategies deployed by businesses to adapt to a disruptive environment is tech partnerships. They reach out to external knowledge and client base to imagine new product offerings. External energies and ideas enable them to test and trial innovation projects or enter new markets.

“For Taylor Vinters, the focus is now on entrepreneurship and innovation, with tech partnerships forming an important part of the firm’s offering, opening doors to a whole new client base.”

Francesca Cassidy, ” Business Innovation : what is is and what could it do for you?”

It is indeed important to gain an understanding of market dynamics for new technologies, especially as time to market still creates a competitive advantage. Working through identified talented startups helps reduce development cycles and accelerates operations. It also provides additional knowledge and ressources to achieve market objectives.

“In the first place, startups in this new area are not always launched at the right time in front of their American competitors. Time to market remains a key advantage to succeed.”

Olivier Ezratti, ” La France des deep tech ” Opinion Libre

Such strategies require an appropriate open innovation culture, which might require further developments in specific sectors. Reluctance to change prevents some companies to benefit from a more agile and creative culture with could be offered by startups partnerships. One of the steps to create such an open innovation culture could be to assess reasons and drivers of the existing fears and reluctance to change.

“Many insurers exhibit an understandable reluctance to embrace innovation, which comes down to a straightforward fear of change and an inherent aversion to risk.”

Jim Bramblet, “Combining the capabilities of multiple startups to solve larger scale challenges“, Accenture

Do you need a philosopher?

Could such fearful approach to innovation be better managed by having philosophers in companies? That is the choice undertaken by Mozilla, who places ethics and responsibility at a central place for technology developments. They therefore engage with universities to develop programmes that include philosophical topics for future engineers.

“Just like how algorithms, data structures, and networking are core computer science classes, we are excited to help empower faculty to also teach ethics and responsibility as an integrated core tenet of the curriculum.”

Kathie Pham, Mozilla speaking to Alex Hern, “Tech suffers from lack of humanities, says Mozilla“, The Guardian

Those developments occur at a time when technologies start to have a critical impact on our informational interaction with machines and humans. As our behaviors and languages are being continuously captured to be better analyzed into complex algorithms, questions arise regarding privacy and security. New markets such as the voice market illustrate the need to better secure new devices and services.

“As the world becomes increasingly voice controlled, several issues with this technology have come to the fore. The most important of these is security”

Sarah Finch, “At A Glance – The Voice Economy“, Disruption Hub

In addition, the place of technologies in communities and ideas development demands a cooperation framework and culture. This would enable diverse organizations to find the appropriate project and skill to challenge their innovation need. The ability to create platforms that link ideas, projects and communities with the appropriate technologies is a critical condition to success.

“Attendees also demonstrated that startups could not succeed alone, nor could governments alone, nor could NGOs alone. As projects evolve in networked purposes and missions, their success depends on « communities, scales and technologies », Lex Paulson, head of international operations at D21, outlined.”

Johanna Camp, “The Citizen Scale“, We Are Innovation

Emotions, a new business environment

Technologies and cultures are not the only innovation drivers for companies. Business environment and offices have become a driver for employee’s well-being and therefore productivity, creativity. Meeting different business types and accessing specific well-being training and activities attracts innovative companies into specialized co-working spaces.

“Just as in Silicon Valley, Kwerk hired a Chief Wellness Officer, Maud Chuffart and called on the experience of a former Air Force Army Samuel Degoute, for anything linked to mental preparation and stress management.”

Valérie Leboucq, “Se faire du bien au travail“, Les Echos

Focusing on their own emotions and well-being can help employees and managers better take into account customer’s emotions and well-being. As marketing and product evolve towards human centric strategies, it is increasingly important to develop emotion-based sales approaches. By generating new contacts and discussion areas, emotion based interactions create new ideas for product and services.

“Emotion based customer listening thus becomes the driver of a unique creativity, proper to your project. It favors a human centric and sustainable innovation.” 

Johanna Camp, “Les émotions, moteur de l’innovation“, Leadwork


The hyperlocal scale

“SenseSpeak”, not “NewSpeak”. Our marketing and design thinking agency deals with complex transition strategies to digital environments on a regularly basis. On few occasions, fears and reluctance to change may arise, and we have had to reword our activities many times to adapt to specific customer cultures. Human centric innovation requires to immerse yourself in the audience you work with and through, whether they are startup teams or small business owners, to better understand links between words and ideas.

Not using the appropriate language in culturally and socially sensitive topics such as digital tools and disruption can position you as a threatening “management spy” or a “crazy startup developer”. Instead, by creating dedicated “guides” and “glossaries” for instance, or presentations detailing what innovation means in the customer’s own terms, change makers can reinsure and contribute to positive transitions. Such action requires to:




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