Innovator Groups

25 02 2010

Few weeks have gone very fast and now I am back from the basement chamber. I have been reading lots of books (in my chamber) about innovation and how to make innovation work. In addition to that I had fun time on my vacation with my family at Ruka and after that I spent week skimming the pile of e-mails. That was shortly what has happened during last few weeks, so let’s get started!

Earlier my noble idea was that everyone should innovate but after reading thoughts of respected authors I must admit that it won’t work. Everyone should have opportunity to innovate but the fact is that there are only small amount of people in organizations or in community who are interested in innovation. Usually they are people who always see gaps or improvement ideas in existing products, services, processes etc. Those people who have fresh ideas must be supported and also connect with other people in other parts of organization or community.

We have ideas.symbian.org that has over 1000 ideas submitted by the “innovators” in the community. I was wondering how those innovators could be supported and connected? How their energy could harness to create more focused innovations? I think that if we put more focus on ideas that fits in to Symbian Foundation’s strategy then we could have more competitive platform (in a long term) on the market.

Everyone who has involved somehow to innovation knows that 99% of innovation is perspiration and 1% inspiration. Perspiration means work and without work there are no innovations nor innovative environment. I was wondering if it could be possible to create some innovator groups that have different focus areas. For example, some group is interested innovating around multimedia domain and another around internet domain. Groups have frequent sessions for example once in three months and they brainstorm and generate new ideas to certain area. The result of the session could be for example new features to the package or some solution to the existing problem.

Then the tricky part is organizing this kind of groups and activities. The most active innovators can be found from leaderboard of the ideas.symbian.org, but they can live in different places even different continents. Usually brainstorming is done by the group in same place, face to face. I am not sure how this kind of brainstorming could be done by online tools. Maybe someone has some ideas or experience in using them? I think that this kind of activity could help in creating environment that permits innovation, but it needs perspiration. Thanks for reading!


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4 responses

26 02 2010
ARJWright

Speaking as one of those people on the leaderboard, and a person who does collaborative events for a day/evening gig, I’d say that it would be to the benefit of the Symbian Foundation to create those spaces where these groups can get together virtually.

For example, sponsoring a Skype conference call and then making sure that these teams have access to the line (with Skype clients and/or a toll-free number). Other things that I could see would be the use of collaborative tools – probably some native to Symbian – which allow the passing of high level designs and process charts.

Personally, I’d like to see more of the latter. That is, using some of the open source software that is out there in concert with our Symbian mobiles to create these virtual innovator groups. Yes, I agree that the best stuff happens in front of one another, and maybe that looks like a quarterly innovation/developer’s meeting where these folks could define a region and get together (Symbian sponsored, but user ran and generated).

What I don’t think that should happen is the leaving of these ideas in the ideas.symbian site to be discussed behind the doors of the people generating them. Getting the innovator’s voice alongside the Foundation and any additional stakeholders is key to making this not just successful, but offers the kind of energy to which 1% effects a lot more, and a lot faster.

26 02 2010
poksteri

Thank you for your good and valuable comment. That is good point that we could use Skype clients and if we have some open-source collaboration tool where ideas can be “sketched” virtually. I agree that idea generator should be involved in discussion when ideas is taken to closer look. Thank you again.

26 02 2010
freddiegjertsen

Hi Petri,

I’m really interested in the group concept for two reasons. Firstly, I agree that forming groups to structure idea-generation around key Symbian topics would be beneficial, and help to ensure the relevance of ideas. Secondly, I believe creating developer groups may be one way to generate more energy and activity around the implementation of ideas in this area (the Symbian Wild Ducks seems a good example of how the energy and enthusiasm generated by a group produces results http://developer.symbian.org/wiki/index.php/Category:Wild_Ducks).

– Freddie

26 02 2010
poksteri

Yep, you’ve got my point. There are over 1000 ideas and I believe that moving those ideas forward needs also effort from the community. Thank’s for comment.

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