Leading a Community of Innovation: Long Term Emergence vs High Value and Rapid Success
Communities of practice or innovation have been around for some 30 years and we, at Imaginatik, were pioneers in using them. Yes, even before the Internet and social media became essential tools in aiding collaboration. For all these years, we have successfully helped many companies benefit from collective intelligence, keeping participants engaged, creating specific tools for managing their communities, and systems of analysis. So if you are thinking about launching your own community of innovation, here are 2 core ideas:
First, you must consider that these tools are among those with the long term investments, often requiring organic development, needing between 6 to 12 months to emerge. They take time and effort. We think they are worth the effort and extremely useful for:
- Developing and spreading knowledge and expertise across the community
- capturing new ideas from the grassroots
- Rapidly tackling concrete tasks or problems
- Creating persistent engagement
- Challenging the statu quo.
- Scaling innovation programs
- Fostering a low risk environment, as they expand involving more people
Secondly, there are some difficulties to confront. Especially how to make your community of interest self-sustaining over the long term. Part of the challenge arises in their operation and the level of engagement achieved.
Don't forget, unlike most of the other commonly used engagement programs, the members of the communities of interest keep tied around areas of interest, with focus and passion. These programs are based on expertise-sharing, conformed by cross-functional teams or professionals who work on challenges or tasks organized in expertise levels, topics, disciplines.
For that, forming your community around business units, technology areas, or customer focused topics helps to create environments where community members can easily interact, collaborate and quickly solve problems.
Have you ever been in contact with a community of innovators?
Do you want to learn about our programs and success cases. Just reach out!