Keys to innovation: Tapping communities of lead users

Today I was interviewed on ABC Radio National’s ByDesign program on how our expectations of beauty are increasing. You can listen to the interview here.

At one point the conversation shifted to how companies could generate the innovation that will meet the soaring expectations of users.

Notably through the work of MIT’s Eric von Hippel, companies have grown to recognize the critical importance of co-creation in innovation, and in particular the role of ‘lead users’. Lead users are typically those who find new applications for products, extend their use, and are the most discerning.

In the interview I was asked how companies can find these lead users to help them innovate.
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The 7 roles of company directors in driving successful innovation

I have just finished running a two-day program in Phuket for the Malaysian Directors Academy on The Innovation Zone: Unleashing the Mindset.

The Academy also asked me to contribute an article to their magazine Board View. The piece is below, providing a high-level view on the role of company directors in driving innovation.

I find it interesting how little attention seems to be paid explicitly to the role of directors in innovation. Many aspects of driving successful innovation are operational, so within the purview of management. However there are critically important roles for boards of directors to play in innovation, and innovation must be squarely on directors’ agenda.

How Directors Can Drive Innovative Organisations

As the pace of change in the business environment increases, driven by technological and social shifts, innovation is moving to the centre of value creation in organisations. Efficiency and effectiveness in well-established business processes and business models are of no value if those models are being destroyed by new products or new classes of competitors.
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GitHub launches service for open government

Future of government seems to be the topic of the moment.

After my post yesterday on Citizen sourcing and the future of cities and last week on Four fundamental principles for crowdsourcing in government, I have to report about GitHub launching government.github.com.

GitHub_government

As it happens, in my recent keynote on A Future of Crowds: Implications for Government and Society, I discussed the issue of GitHub as a tool for crowdsourced government.
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Meeting of the Minds: Key future trends with Ross Dawson and Gerd Leonhard

When I was in Switzerland recently, esteemed colleague Gerd Leonhard and I recorded a number of video conversations, produced by Jonathan Marks. Following ones on Big Data, the future of privacy, and the future of Switzerland, here is our conversation on Key future trends.

For more conversations about the future see Meeting of the Minds.

After discussing some of the major trends, we go on to discuss our own preferred futures.

Trends and implications that we raise and discuss in the video include:
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Citizen sourcing and the future of cities

As I noted last week in my post on Four fundamental principles for crowdsourcing in government, one of the most powerful applications of crowdsourcing is in government.

PSFK has just launched a nice report and summary presentation on the future of cities, embedded below.

The third section of the report covers Citizen Sourced aspects of the future of cities, including:
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The role of the futurist as leader

When I was in Amsterdam recently for client engagements I also gave a keynote to the Dutch Future Society about the role of the futurist.

It was a fascinating evening. Given the audience of futurists and those well engaged with the future, my presentation went further out than usual, and the ensuing conversation went beyond that, to issues including the nature of humanity, the ethics of the future, and more.

In coming months I intend to share some of the many fascinating strands that came up during the evening.

After the event I was interviewed by Stephan Verveen. The interview, embedded below, covers quite a few of the points raised during the evening.


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How technology is enabling the humanity of organizations

After my recent opening keynote at the SAP Australia User Group Summit on Leadership in Enterprise Technology, I did a video interview for Inside SAP magazine, shown below.

The full transcript of the interview is available on our new publication CIO of the Future.
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Four fundamental principles for crowdsourcing in government

A few weeks ago I gave the keynote at the annual conference of the Business Improvement and Innovation in Government (BIIG) network of the Queensland Government, speaking on A Future of Crowds: Implications for Government and Society.

I have been increasingly pulled towards the government sector over the last years. I’m delighted, as changing the nature and structure of government is one of the most important aspects possible in creating a better future for ourselves.

In my keynote, after describing the underlying tenets of crowdsourcing and giving a varied set of examples of how they can be applied in government (which I’ll share in another post), in my final section on leadership I ran through the practical issues that drive success and finally offered four principles for crowdsourcing in government.

Here are the four principles in summary:
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As more jobs are automated, how many of us will still have productive work?

There has been a lot of press the last few days about a paper The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?, published by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology.

Almost all the coverage has been on the headline figure that 47% of US employment is at risk. However the paper provides many more interesting insights when you examine the detail.
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