What is happening in the innovation community right now? In this post, I give a quick overview of the top trends and issues based on the interactions I have had over the last month or so.
At the recent Open Innovation Summit, communication in a more holistic perspective was a key topic.
Jeff Boehm of InventionMachine gave a great presentation titled Marketing Innovation in which he argued that innovation success requires internal communication. He’s right and I will share more from this presentation in a later blog post. At a Think Tank session during the summit, we also identified communication as a key characteristic for open innovation leaders. Some keywords on this were internal & external communication, consistent behavior & messages, deliberate strategy, top-down modeling, confidence to share what you know.
2. Smartfailing – learning through failure
We usually learn from our successes, but we often miss out on learning through our failures.
Thus, I am glad to notice how the idea of getting better at learning through our failures is picking up interest. This became quite clear to me as I got responses to this blog post: Smartfailing – a concept for learning through failure. We have a great discussion going on – please join us… I talk with several innovation units on their smartfailing and failsourcing capabilities. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the near future.
3. The soft skills of innovation
Soft skills a.k.a. people skills are becoming the hard skills of innovation. It was great to see how Gail Martino, Unilever – and others – got into this important topic at the Open Innovation Summit. Martino revealed 7 key soft skills that Unilever feel are necessary for open innovation team members to have in order to succeed. They are intrapreneurial skills, talent relationship building, strategic influencing, quick study, tolerance of uncertainty, balanced optimism and passion.
These or similar skills pop up more often when companies explain the key elements behind their open innovation strategies. Matthew Heim, president of NineSigma, also highlights this as one of the key take aways from my latest book as you can read in this blog post, The Soft Side of the Open Innovation Revolution.
Let me know what you think of this and please feel free to share your own innovation trends and issues.