The social science of hype

As we accelerate into the world of commercial machine learning and artificial intelligence, we once again find ourselves discussing technology hype. We have to be reminded that each wave of new inventions create benefits​ that are not always quantifiable immediately. If we look back at 1800’s during the Industrial Revolution or we try to understand the early days of commercial flight or the invention and widespread deployment of the motor vehicle, let alone the 80s and 90s when it comes to public access to computing; one sees that the emergence of new platforms are almost inevitable as humans collaborate more and share the world’s intellect. Each wave brings its own set of tools that are closely interlocked with the human psyche of that period.

The social science behind how these new ideas and inventions proliferate is really worth considering. You need to figure out your role and your place in this world of change. There are two schools of thought competing with each other creating social tension that is needed to make these new ideas flourish: One group is facing backwards trying to remember how great the world used to be in some distant past. Then there is another group that is facing into the future, and they try to make sense of all of the current And future trends that could make the more successful. But as we know most people will make decisions without considering many facts and figures and real inferences. Just considering what’s happening in politics today where politicians can make outrageous claims and even contradict scientific findings, and still continue to get the support of certain communities. This strong interplay between the memory of the past and the vision of the future is something all leaders should consider when defining their own journey.

But the world we are moving into might look different. Never before as we enter the face where we’ve got access too so much computational power and human behaviour all data to exploit. This world where the obsessive storage of data about all of the human existence is exposed to any interested party anywhere in the world, is changing our perspective of competition. This ability coupled with almost unlimited access to computational power is changing our understanding of where we fit in the overall landscape. In recent times we’ve seen the re-emergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sub-market or ecosystem classifications, for example fintec, edtech, meditec, etc. This reemergence is field by the access we have to new an improved efficient platforms. Alongside these platforms, Humans have become data collection and consumption machines that can be broadly manipulated by means of intelligent algorithms. The proliferation of these algorithms probably will not take the same shape as in the previous computing generation.

It’s not just about glass anymore, it’s about using all our senses starting with voice and sight. For example this entire post was dictated on my Google Pixel as I see the words appear in my online editor… The Intelligent algorithm figures out the structure of the sentences, the grammar that’s most appropriate and sorting out the punctuation. Furthermore the algorithm has been trying to ignore the sound of Birds and traffic, the background music playing inside my office and the people talking in the distance. It’s solely focused on the words coming from my mouth. This basic capability would not have been possible in recent years.

The one social driver to understand is, random novelty. Novelty is a fairly complex phenomena and I do not wish to talk much about it here, but we have to remember that there are millions of people scattered all over the world that are interested in creating new commercially viable ideas. Novelty is cleverly used by almost all digital and Technology Innovation focused companies to create addiction. It’s the primary purpose of a digital business to create consistent and recurrent client interaction in such a way that maximum benefit can be extracted. We have been educated by the multitude of technologies around us that learned behaviour is the basic entry point. The result is that we become more and more addicted to the incredibly simple and basic responses that are being provided by these various semi intelligent machines around us. The reality is that there are still certain large telecommunications companies, Banks, insurance providers, medical practitioners, financial providers, etc that believe that this trend is not going to have a profound impact on their future. The old days of dumb digital glass will be replaced by intelligent multi-sensory inventions. Believing that creating a mobile app or a well-designed web frontend will make you competitive places you squarely in the rearward facing competitive group.

We have to live with each wave of social Hype as we try to understand the ecosystem’s absorptive capacity for new inventions. Living with this change means that your ability to move with the tight interface between technological invention and social change is probably the only thing that will separate you as a competitive organism in the future.

Living in a networked world: Emergent business ecosystems

When trying to reframe our thinking we need to ensure that there is place for seeing the world for what it really is. I believe that this is one of the most difficult things to do as we’re all stuck in our individual lives and in most cases are not incentivised to think differently. One such example is looking at the way in which the world is organized, where layers and multi-dimensional networks exist all around us. Reductionist thinking gets us to simplify the complexity of these interrelationships to the point where some discretely defined and easily articulated concept is used to describe phenomena.

Networks exist everywhere. But, firstly, a network is described in terms of the elements and relationships among the elements in a system. Systems take on many forms and include; the human body as a system, economic systems, legal systems, etc. Secondly, a network can only exist through two primary reasons, for the sake of this discussion. The first form of existence is the physical manifestation of networked thinking. An example of this type of network is a road system in a country. The road system can connect to another country if access is allowed and the rules of usage are agreed upon. This gets us to the second from of existence, where networks exist in the minds of people. It exists, based on the chaotic and disparate reasoning that exists when humans get connected intellectually.

There are various manifestations of networks, to take the reasoning to the next level. In business there are a number of networks that are closely related physically, but yet well removed in implementation and access. A particular set of networks can include; road systems, telecommunication networks, money networks, social networks, neurological networks and memes. They all have one thing in common, in that each has a node and a relationship to another node. Each node performs a function and cannot exist without at least one other node. The relationship describes the reason for existence and gives the networked system meaning.

Business ecosystems emerge as networks of commerce are formed. In order to develop a detailed view of how competitiveness evolves, different perspectives are required. Here are two examples, a timeline and business network.

The Innovation for Jobs Summit

_DSC0969 As we reflect on the Innovation for Jobs Summit that brought together some brilliant minds from around the world, it highlighted the fact that ecosystems form an important part of shaping new innovations. David Nordfors and Jay van Zyl embarked on a journey that is still in it’s infancy, but resulted in this: Creating the first Innovation for Jobs Ecosystem. Our data collection process started off with a series of discussions around the meaning of ecosystems and ecologies, by defining the most important elements that would need to be represented. The jobs ecosystem is vast and basically include almost all elements you would find in the modern business, but we had to find a meta-definition. Essentially all the elements revolve around the role a human plays in it’s setting to ensure survival. We did eventually settle on four constructs, that will be revisited and reviewed over the coming months:

1. Person: David’s workEgenvector analysis on ecosystem in the field of innovation journalism and the involvement in this jobs ecosystem community, has gives him a unique perspective on the problem. We identified around 160 people that have been involved directly and on the periphery of the i4j ecosystem as a starting point to outline the role of human and how interactions with the ecosystem are crafted.

2. Company: The meta-physical concept of a company is that it brings people together for mutual beneficial outcomes (well, most of the time). Companies, or groups of people, shape ideas and invest resources to implement those ideas that will eventually harvest benefit. Our list was vast! But, we decided on using a key number of companies that are either directly involved in the new jobs world, or can contribute immediately. The conundrum is that all companies are job creation- or job destruction-ecosystems.

Hot Idea Graph3. Idea: This is where the story gets complicated. What can realistically be defined as an idea? (yes, there are many academic definitions) How many ideas can realistically be implemented by people in a company? What’s the role of a dominant idea? Leading ideas that involve new design constructs are much bigger than ideas to make changes to an already and existing ecosystem. We did not separate these completely, but worked off the basic design principle that the network view will show us the importance of ideas as we map them onto people and companies.We are searching for super-memes and the elements in the eco-system that will carry these ideas. In future posts we will unpack this more clearly and expose some of the constructs we’re working on.

4. Event: Humans conglomerate when they have common interests or a common cause. For our purposes; this provided an anchor point to understand the way in which ideas are developed. People attending an i4j events will be exposed to new ideas, but importantly will have the stage to present their own views of the world. Extracting this data was tedious and required some real hard intellectual labour (well, almost). It’s also an area that’s the messiest and mostly qualitative as the narrative is imprecise and ambiguous.

We used all these inputs to construct a dataset that is representative of the intersection of these elements. This is where the real work starts; various network measurement approaches were applied to the data. We are finding that the existing approaches to analysis have shortcomings. Initial outcomes show that our new algorithms could expose different aspects of how to interpret the intersection of human and idea.

Vint CerfVint Cerf and David are two of the key drivers behind this Innovation for Jobs community. They have been able to bring together some leading minds in the field and are shaping one of the most crucial conversations of our time.

Some notes on the graphs:

Graph 1, human network: The ecosystem is held together by strong and purposeful interaction centered around key individuals. It does show that interactions, even though mostly digital, are greatly enhanced by physical connections and interactions. When applying centrality analysis, the obvious appears, and that lead us to unpack the purpose of interactions. Why would certain communities conglomerate, and take ideas further? Which ideas will appear in fragmented communities as narrative develops?

Graph2, prominent ideas graph: As ideas are developed, we use language to describe the idea. As conversations develop into concepts, we see that our everyday usage of  terminology changes, even though the understanding is shallow. Finding evidence of keywords in digital media is tough, as we had to rely on public sources and certain notes from previous interactions amongst this group. The outcome was quite insightful as it showed that certain topics are prominent and also of concern to this community. The dichotomy is that the ideas and problems you care about addressing, are often the same ideas that will solve the problems.

Socio-spill and the mindset of “copy”, oops “imitation”, no it’s an “improvement”

Travelling through the cities we kept getting glimpses of the contrasting cultures of east and west. In the residential districts your eyes are met with rows upon rows of high-rise cookie-cutter style apartment blocks, in the city centres the skyscrapers tower above you with their western influenced modernity and perfection. Then there are the alleyways – the famous Beijing hutongs – whose tiled roofs, grey colour and courtyard style homes look like they have been taken straight out of a movie. The little red posters hanging on the doors and windows wishing luck, wealth and happiness onto the family are distinctly Chinese. An interesting point to think about is the use of modern architecture in the Chinese cities, with many modern building styles borrowed directly from Western architectural models, how do they create a distinctly Chinese modern building? In an increasingly interconnected world, is it even possible to develop something entirely unique without being subjected to the influence of other cultures and societies and still remaining modern? This question will be the entry point into a much more in-depth analysis into innovation in the east – watch this space. But for now, what I found in the contemporary architecture of China were countless examples of form and function taken directly from the Western conceptions. Yet the Chinese influence is by no means absent, the China Pavilion from the 2010 Shanghai World Expo is one example, as are the classical tiled roofs still used on many modern buildings. So within the architecture there is a constant contrast, the old and the new, the east and the west.

Within the arteries and organs of the cities the cultural contrasts are much more closely interconnected. The stop signs, traffic lights, window displays, phone booths and toilets all copy the global models, yet surrounding them there is still a distinctly Chinese culture, with fruit and vegetable shops in the airports, “squat” toilets in the bathrooms, a completely different take on Western conceptions of “personal space”, and of course the millions upon millions of people.

Socio-spill is the way in which popular culture gets replicated through the development of memes that make their way into physical outputs. In return these physical outputs influence the mind-sets and behavior of people.

Entering a bank branch in Beijing or Shanghai is like entering a branch in Johannesburg, London or New York. Entering a Starbucks in any of these cities… you get the picture.

Some notes from a trip to China by Jay and Daniel. (more to follow on this socio-spill series)

The Chinese Effect and other perceptive influencers

The cool wave of air-conditioning that hits you as you descend into a subway is a familiar one to the seasoned traveller. As is the monotonous whoosh of the access gates as commuters pass through, and all the other sounds that accompany a busy underground. I have found that even the people are the same, involved in their own spheres of activity as they chat, tap away on their mobile phones or gaze on idly as their earphones provide life’s soundtrack. These are things we hardly think about in many of our everyday situations, but I began thinking about them today because this particular subway happened to be in the heart of Beijing.

The stereotypical Western viewpoint of China often presents the red giant as the epitome of cultural contrast to the societies of the West. I would argue that this is not entirely untrue. Since upon arriving in the mainland I haven’t heard a word of English save the odd “hello”, The rumours of the extravagant and strange delicacies are also not too far off the mark, and the noticeable lack of any Latin alphabet with which to try and order my lunch is one of many aspects of Chinese culture that supplements the “culture shock”. Yet the similarities between this society and those of the Western world are too striking to ignore. Moreover these are not merely similarities but shared cultural and societal practices. Being the observer in China has provided me with one of the most informative and obvious examples of the socio-spill that is constantly occurring around the globe.

Expecting to find an abundance of bicycles, a billion people and clusters of ancient temples, I was met with a Starbucks coffee shop, an Apple retail store and an Audi dealership – the bicycles, people and temples were scattered amongst these. Everywhere I looked there were traces of global influence – subtle or blatant – ranging from the architectural to the more abstract. Let me paint you a brief picture to illustrate the extent to which this cross-cultural influence exists in the communist giant that is China: after taking a New York style yellow cab to a popular nightlife district, we chose a small bustling bar to have a drink at. The bar was called The Blue Lotus (from the Belgian born classic Tintin comic) and we sat down to drink a Dutch Heineken. A small band was playing using American instruments and singing British pop songs and all this while not a soul around us could speak a word of English.

The heavy Western influence in every corner of society is another aspect of Chinese culture that has been very interesting to observe. Although historical sites such as the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City have been meticulously preserved, how will the contemporary Chinese identity fair against the imposing Western influence? In a globalising world, what will distinguish one culture from another, or are we all destined to transform into a global culture driven by brands and lifestyle rather than heritage and history? Is language one of the last frontiers of individual culture?

There is a noticeable lack of negativity in China. The Chinese people come across as content (every person we spoke to felt that life will keep improving and the current status quo is adequate to maintain their happiness – in a nutshell), everyone is busy with something. The place is clean (except for the bathrooms :). By clean I mean that parks are maintained, streets are constantly swept and there is very little litter anywhere. What does it mean to have such a well-functioning society (from the outside) existing in a sphere of political restrictions and lack of personal freedom? In the context of the current political crises in North Africa and the Middle East, it seems unlikely that the Chinese society will attempt to lean in the direction of political reform. How does this affect our understanding of the concept of liberal democratic freedom as a prerequisite for an effective developing society?

Some notes from a trip to China by Jay and Daniel. (more to follow on this socio-spill series)

Giles Zopa and my take on the social graph

Simon and I went to see Giles Zopa a few days ago to get insights into Zopa. This is an extrapolated view of a part of our conversation.

Looking at […] traditional retail banking. The “dominant idea” (to use some Built to Thrive terminology) of the retail outlet in banking is to connect the fund provider and deposit maker (that expects a return) with the need for funds as the recipient (that expects to pay for having access to funds). This obviously is only one pillar of the overall retail experience; the need to transact daily for the moment is not covered in this reasoning. So, the need for a loan is satisfied in many ways. Recipients of the loan, as the receivers of funds, need to expose information about their situation and about themselves.

The large bank uses a disconnected model; clearly separating the provider of funds from the receiver of funds. Then proceeds to create risk and credit processes to manage this disconnect in complex ways, resulting in expensive processes and operating models.

Zopa presents an alternate perspective […] in connecting the lender with borrower. Removing the “secrecy of information” mindset results in an efficient connection between provider and recipient. It might seem that initial interactions between various elements in the connected network favor certain outcomes, the longer term implications are that the right provider with eventually find the right receiver.

Speaking to Giles you get the clear impression that he understands the ecosystem of the efficient interactions that are developed over time. The longer term provider will find the benefits they seek as they enhance their understanding of the behaviors of the borrowers. Allowing the network of interactions to remain messy, fuel the growth of the network. By “messy” I mean; you need shortages and scarcity in the network to fuel interest and focus across the social graph, you also need holes in connectivity to fuel interest in closing these holes.

Scarcity in the network refers to the need for more lenders or borrowers over time. Waves of scarcity will determine the behavior of the network organizer, in this case Zopa, to invest energy in closing the gap. Holes in connectivity result in opportunity seekers searching for returns in places where most will not look. The network of connectivity is made efficient by this shifting of behavior and entrepreneurial spirit of the network participant.

Facebook, to look at one of many, social networking automation platforms has a specific take on the social graph. This “take” is to focus on the generic nature of the platform of interconnectivity and solve the “specialization problem” through allowing plug-ins to be developed on top of the platform. There is a complex interplay between these various plug-ins and the platform as the human component determines the use of the platform for it’s own purposes. Having millions of people connecting, using and spreading messages and transactions across the graph allow for an “efficiency scenario” to develop.

The “efficiency scenario” develops as the number of interactions increase across platform, platform extensions, and as human behavior over time adopt. Connecting the information provider with the information consumer has a sense of historical importance. Humans trade, share and commercialize these abilities to connect people in innovative ways. Probably the most important component of the scenario is that people get educated that technology can play a major role in making the network efficient.

Using the efficiency scenario in the social graph allows for the connecting of provider and recipient to happen much more efficiently as technology innovation allows for more efficient connections to form.

Zopa is becoming and driving a new language in social connectivity for personal financial wellbeing. Could this business be replaced by Facebook? Would the participants in the network find more efficient interactions in the public networks, or will the trusted nature of Zopa keep a niche in the world of money? Can you really trust the generic social connectivity and trading platforms to handle your investments? Will the traditional bank shift it behavior in connecting provider with requirer and move from thousands of people managing a proprietary process to a handful[20] people managing it all with the assistance of technology?

Human mash-ups, a term I’ve used to show how technology gets integrated with humans, can be used to explain the Zopa story. Money, a human invention; banking, another human invention; intersect with technology, yet another human invention. We are only at the beginning of the era of using technology in connected ways. Language invented some 10,000 years ago (just to make the point) intersect with a public global network that uses technology only invented some 16 years ago.

Where do new ideas really come from? One such view…

Networks are the infrastructure for the transmission of information and ideas. A meme is what packages the ideas and information that is being sent. Coined by Richard Dawkins, a meme derives from the term ‘gene’ (the information carrier within biological organisms) and the Greek word ‘mimetismos’ (meaning something imitated). Therefore a meme is an informational carrier that operates through mimetic behavior.

A meme is often seen as one of the primary ways by which culture is shared and reproduced. Through our communicative abilities as humans, our societies have developed eclectic and complex cultures through the utilization of memes. Ideas, beliefs and acquired knowledge is past down the generational ladder through memes and these created a means by which to share collective knowledge and collaborate. Matt Ridley argues that in our modern world, there are very few things that any one person can make from scratch. To create a book, one would need not just knowledge of how to type, edit, and design, but also how to create paper, build a printer and generate electricity to power the printer. The systems of knowledge that culminate in the creation of a book stretch far and wide. How many people in the world do you think can melt down iron ore and forge an axe to chop down tress, as well as design and build the transistors found in digital printer chips, and extract oil from the earth to create ink? Probably no-one.

Memes have given us the ability to share information and create systems of knowledge sharing. Every day we rely on a vast number of different knowledge pools in order to function, and these knowledge pools are the result of mimetic behavior. We start employing the use of memes as soon as we are born, imitating language and basic skills to ensure our survival. As we grow our use of memes expands and becomes more complex as we use entire sets of existing knowledge in school and university. Almost everything we do and all the actions we take exist as a form of meme and even the most radical shifts in behavior have to rely on our use of memes initially so that we have sufficiently prepared ourselves for a step into new territory. In 1783 when Frenchman, Louis-Sébastien Lenormand made the first recorded public jump with his prototype parachute strapped tightly to his back, his use of mimetic behavior was integral to his success. A reliance on a huge amount of previously created collective knowledge packaged in thousands of memes ensured a radically new experiment turned out a success. The acquired mimetic knowledge of gravity, material and physics was utilized in the experiment.

Categories: Eco

The tyranny of change and telling fortunes

I’ve had some push-back on my views about socially driven innovations and that in turn means a push back on open innovation. When “The Process Innovation Imperative” was written (leading up to 2002), the 4th Generation of R&D was in full swing. The focus was on using learning theories and knowledge based approaches to drive new innovations. I do not think that learning is less important today, it is just more imbedded in the make-up of our organizations as we are educated on the possibilities of what this can bring. With regards to 4th Gen R&D, the premise of getting the customer more involved in your business is a modern phenomena; and here to stay.

Some pertinent questions are being raised in light of a more open and transparent approach to innovation:
1. Our culture and organization does not function like this, so how will this work?
2. Our industry does not work like this, where can it be applied?
3. As an innovation leader I have no control over the more federally designed business units, how open can we be?

There are some undeniable evidence that movements towards a more open world is moving at a consistent pace. We do, as humans, have a problem in telling the future though. Our mental pictures of what’s possible are always different to those views of what actually happen. the result is that when we look back things don’t look so well crafted and planned.
Look at “Back to the future” Marty McFly arrived in the future (a few days ago) after hitting 88mph in a Delorean in 1985. What were you thinking about innovation in 1985? Remember the hovering skateboard?

There are some signs of change, especially those that are socially driven, that normally go unnoticed. This one isn’t; we are in a world where humans demand rights, want to be treated well, and feel they have the right to the benefit of their actions. Having just experienced the soccer world cup in South Africa, I once again feel that a movement like “against racism” is driving a society to believe (rightfully so) that inequality is wrong and that individuals should be valued.

A colleague just returned from China (Guangzhou an economic powerhouse). He found that after interviewing some prominent business leaders the result was quite clear. “So, why do you want to do open innovation again?” Let’s leave it at that for now…

Idea ecologies, the new frontier of innovation?

Idea ecologies are exploding by using open innovation based principles. Until recently it was very difficult to tell your suppliers (the many retail and other suppliers that fill our everyday life with goods and services) what you need from them. Now with crowdsourcing and idea ecologies you can become part of these organizations and participate in swarm based innovation behaviour. In my previous post about these ecologies I discussed some examples. This is an update with more organizations joining the “crowdsourcing of ideas” phenomena.

eBay, Amazon and others pioneered and popularized the concept of rating and reviewing of deals in the world of commerce. In this digital world we trade with ideas and intellectual assets.

UbuntuCheck the Ubuntu community’s ability to elicit ideas and have the best ones implemented by an open source community.

Innocentive is one of the first successful idea ecologies that was founded by Eli Lily. Ideas are captured and solved by the crowds of people interested in making an impact. Communities are brought together to solve problems and prizes are set in monetary and other soft measures.

Idea BountyIdea Bounty is a community that elicits ideas and then crowdsource the best ideas as a solution to the problem (ideas). A bounty is set where the prize money is promoted as one of the biggest draw cards of the crowd. In this community you have creatives and clients. Clients set bounties and creatives respond to these with great and useful ideas. You can also be rewarded if your friends have winning ideas; they call it “Share the Love”. I like this statement; “Idea Bounty was started by a guy who saw the light and a guy who was frantically waving a torch.”.

idea connectionIdea Connection is a great community with lots of information on the concept of crowdsourcing. With the vision statement: “To give businesses access to the world’s most creative and innovative minds, who work collaboratively to solve problems and develop innovations.” they have a mountain to climb as the world is jumping on the ecology wave. They follow the same approach; ideas are needed to solve problems, ideas are captured and rewarded.

header_netflixNetflix Prize wants to achieve: “The Netflix Prize seeks to substantially improve the accuracy of predictions about how much someone is going to love a movie based on their movie preferences.” In the world of media and especially in a disruptive world of on-line media, the viewer uses ratings extensively. This community tries to incentivise crowd participation for rewards.

IdeanetIDEAnet has a noble cause. This is their purpose: “The IDEAnet is a global collaboration of individuals and institutions that provide medical services and humanitarian relief. The mission of IDEAnet is to foster collaborative efforts to use distributed learning and volunteer telemedicine to address health disparities and foster effective, sustainable health services.” It is mostly designed around Communities of Practice based concepts where ideas and discussed and developed for benefit to the community.

P&GConnect + Develop from P&G is a great open based innovation community that brings together many parties in making innovation work. This is a comment from Bruce Brown: “It’s our version of open innovation: the practice of accessing externally developed intellectual property in your own business and allowing your internally developed assets and know-how to be used by others.” This is a great summary of many parts of the crowdsourcing based innovation concepts: “Today, open innovation at P&G works both ways — inbound and outbound — and encompasses everything from trademarks to packaging, marketing models to engineering, and business services to design. It’s so much more than technology.” P&G has Innocentive, NineSigma, Yet2, and yourEncore as partners making their innovation initiatives some of the most successful today.

SocialtextSocialtext is a social community platform where many components of what’s needed to construct complete collaboration communities are built. Their value statement: “Socialtext was founded on the vision that technologies emerging in the consumer web offered far better social dynamics than any enterprise software. The opportunity we saw was to create a new social context for organizations and the people who make up those organizations.”

Social computing as a platform for social networks are now in the corporate space. For those that believe that the old paradigm, and those set in their ways, is going to get you to compete with the highly integrated and well connected generation has some else coming. This is the era of social based ecological activity. Consumers are educated that their voices will be heard and that the eras gone by, where CRM and other half-baked attempts to solving customer problems, are gone. There is an explosion of social communities, check these entries; 50 Niche Social Media Communities and top social networks for entrepreneurs. And, yet senior people shun social networks. We are in a paradigm of socialization.

Categories: Eco

Making the case for Social Based Innovation

I’ve been discussion many concepts relating to innovation over the last few years. But kept the development of our new approach under wraps as we are testing some of the constructs. So, let me give you a sniplet of what’s been going on.

Working globally with financial services, manufacturing, and other services firms we discovered some interesting concepts in innovation. You would’ve noticed that I have a number of posts on social networking (the hot topic of the day I guess), and other social related phenomena. All these contribute partly to the concept of Social Based Innovation.

The initial definition is:
Social Based Innovation is the ability to influence social actions in such a way, that benefit is obtained by the social group in its tribal setting, behaving in a way that value is captured by the collective.

Social Based Innovation websiteShadow organizations as they are called, refer to the social interactions that happen outside of the formal structures as defined by leadership. These shadows are often overlooked as sources of value and not nurtured. Social Based Innovation as an approach is used to capture value holistically by allowing all dimensions of the community to interact. This drives the tribal approach where common beliefs and ideas are developed even if these are from customers, employees, competitors, or other traditional constructs. Crowdsourcing, Co-production, crowd spirit, etc are concepts that try to capture the emerging world of social mobilization. Leveraging communities as crowds that influence your innovation mandate has become a new topic of discussion.

Some notes on where reward systems (check out McKinsey&Company’s And the winner is… paper) and Social Based Innovation intersect:
– Identify excellence through social rating approach and tribal acceptance and co-development of ideas and innovations.
– Influence public perception by exposing a wider community to rewards for great ideas and innovations.
– Focus a community by getting the entire social group involved in collective activity for common purpose without the traditional organizational boundaries.
– Identify and mobilize new talent by allowing individuals to have creative freedom during idea development and guidance through implementation.
– Strengthen the community by getting tribes actively involved in problem solving.
– Educate and improve skills by getting champions of innovation to emerge based on their attitudinal and aptitude towards innovation. These people can then assist others in achieving more in the network.
– Mobilize capital once the strategic intent of the campaign and involvement of the formal and social structures have delivered a verdict.

Is innovation as a discipline evolving faster than before due to the effects of social networking?