I had an amazing experience creating real time large scale visual notes of the conversations ricocheting around the room at the 2010 Collaborative Innovation Forum. Enovia brought together peers, partners, and customers from companies diverse as GE Energy and Under Armour to discuss how hyper-sociality impacts their organizations’ product and process innovation. The event was expertly emceed by Ed Moran, Deloitte’s Director of Insights and Innovation and the team fluently orchestrated by Human 1.0‘s team.
I also really enjoyed the company of the team of innovation oriented bloggers who did real time commentary on the sessions.
Here are images of all the large scale visualizations I created from the event. click on them to see larger sized versions.
The Principals of Hyper Social Organizations-Ed Moran, Deloitte, Director Insights & Innovation
I’m deep in the zone in this picture, taken by Drew Marshall of Primed Associates.
The Impact of collaboration and Hyper-sociality on Product Innovation-Jody Giles, Under Armour, CIO
Breakout Groups Report Back: Topic: The Impact of Collaboration and Hyper-sociality on Product Innovation
The Impact of Collaboration and Hyper-sociality on Organizational Effectiveness, Joseph Press, Deloitte
Soaking up the visual chronicle of the Collaboration and Innovation Forum
The Impact of Collaboration and Hypersociality on Process Innovation, John Shorter, GE Energy, CIO
Breakout groups Report Back: Topic: Impact of Collaboration and Hypersociality on Process Innovation
Collaborative Innovation Forum Wrap Up Session
Browsing all the Visual Notes of the Conversations at the 2010 Collaborative Innovation Forum
Thanks again to Francois Gossieaux, Kelly Morrissey, and Sara Clark of Human1.0 who invited me to participate in CIF 2010. It was truly a hyper-social learning experience.
Just as I suspected, CIF2010 was filled with enthusiastic exchanges of information focused on a variety of practices including those related to social innovation. The atmosphere was definitely one of collaboration. The growing prevalence of sociality along with the value of the voice of the customer were threaded throughout the dialogues. And of course the latter, was music to my ears. At some level, I feel a sense of relief every time I hear a company articulate the realization for the need and value of engaging the customer early, and often, in the product development life cycle.
Here I’ll share a few points that resonated with me.
1. Shift in Design Thinking – Emergent thinking in product development is beginning to shift from how are people using my product to let’s find out how customers want to use my product.
2. Understanding Tribal Behavior – Although we’re each quite unique, we share many characteristics and patterns of behavior. By some, this phenomenon is termed ‘herding’. We dress alike, we travel together, tend to use similar products and live in tribes. So when we design, we’re not simply designing for target markets, rather we’re designing for tribes whose members share a full range of psychographics.
3. Leadership Makeover – Once thought of as the norm, authoritarian type leadership is becoming less and less effective in our shifting socially ‘flat’ world. Leaders need to be able to thrive in the unknown in order to facilitate innovative thinking. Today’s most successful leaders realize:
- An important part of their role is to develop options and encourage feedback;
- They need to invite people from across the enterprise to engage in innovation conversations;
- They need to be able to thrive in the unknown and the messiness of innovation;
- The value of an iterative design process and feedback loop.
- The ROI of engaging customers to co-create is priceless!
Being part of conversations with forward thinking companies open to change is so inspiring. When I step back and look at the convergence of some the elements in play, it’s evident we’re on a brink of some type of social revolution. Globalization, emergence of customer centric practices and the desire to innovate are driving this revolution. And glimpses of the results are just beginning to emerge.
My follow up post with conclusions about ENOVIA Collaborative Innovation Forum on my Beyond PLM blog.
Hyper – Social Organizations for PLM Dummies
Here is a link to the complete photo gallery of all the visual notes I created during this action packed day of sharing questions, insights, and inspiration.
It’s interesting to see how design, having conquered most of the rest of the world, is now invading management and leadership. But lest one assume that this requires CEOs start behaving all artsy, keep in mind that the qualities of design leadership– the ability to set a clear vision and communicate it; to delegate and inspire; to iterate and learn from failure– were seen as distinctive qualities of Ronald Reagan’s management style. Some highlights from an article written by one of his economic advisors:
Those of us who had the good fortune of working for President Reagan witnessed firsthand the effective management style of an unusually successful chief executive. Here are 10 lessons that I learned from observing him in action.
Lesson 1: Set Clear and Attainable Objectives, albeit Goals that Seem Difficult to Achieve….
Lesson 3: Give Your People Lots of Leeway and Operating Authority…. He did not try to micromanage the decision making within each of our agencies, but he held us accountable for the results. He empowered us to exercise a lot of discretion.
Lesson 6: Communicate Clearly Both Within the Organization and to the Larger Public.
Of course there’s a lot more, but nothing that contradicts the idea that Reagan could be seen as a design-inspired leader. Of course, for someone who had a career as an actor and head of the Screen Actors’ Guild, this probably shouldn’t be a surprise.
Joseph Press of Deloitte discussd the impact HSO on Talent, Knowledge Management, Leadership and the Learning Process.
- Recruitment: potential recruits can view videos of “day in the life of” to learn what it will be like to work at the company
- Talent development: increasing the effectiveness of learning through online channels, such as on-demand videos to show how to do a specific task.
- Learning: These new tools support informal learning. Social learning is based on co-creating with wikis, publishing & feedback on blogs; on-demand videos to show how to do a specific task.
- Innovation: The act of creating: it’s about getting the information out so that others can comment, iterate on it.
- Innovation has shifted from an individual with an idea to a passionate collaboration, prototyping and iteration.
Leadership: How to lead when the organization is not based on hierarchy but on on tribes and distributed communication in social networks. A new metaphor — from authoritarian to collaborative — a designer who goes down the serendipitous path, trusting that the group can come up with something better than one individual. They let solutions evolve.
The Hyper-Social Organization
The Power of Pull
The Corporate Lattice
Next Learning Unwrapped
The Innovator’s Solution
The question posed to my table for small-group discussion was this:
How will hyper-sociality and collaboration change your customer service/customer support process? How will it impact your broader customer relationship management process?
We started by enumerating the characteristics of tribes and social media: First, social media channels are not very structured, in terms of conduit for feedback. You can’t control it. Also, the tribe tends to amplify its individual customer voices, both positive and negative. And more importantly, the tribe can shine a light on your company’s customer service policies and procedures, introducing a transparency in the process that can be quite glaring.
The discussion that ensued touched on the need to be responsive and to triage requests into your regular customer-service channels, perhaps creating a connection to move those requests easily. In that way you keep the tribe “clean.”
The five of us ended up huddled around a diagram drawn by our tablemate Kevin Baughey of Dassault Systems. When it came time to share our takeaways with the larger group, Kevin presented them using the diagram, as documented in the video below:Play Video
One thing that came out of the breakouts is the observation that “Young engineers in China (under 25) love internal blogging (because external dissent is not possible).” An excellent source of information about technology and social trends in China is 88-Bar, a blog run by Jason Li and Jyn Jeffery. Older but still useful is their former blog, Virtual China.
Another very interesting data-point is a recent New York Times article about “human-flesh search engines” in China, which tell us something about the ways the online and real-world communities (or swarms, flocks, or what have you) behave in China:
Human-flesh search engines — renrou sousuo yinqing — have become a Chinese phenomenon: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath. The goal is to get the targets of a search fired from their jobs, shamed in front of their neighbors, run out of town. It’s crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online — with offline results…. The popular meaning is now not just a search by humans but also a search for humans, initially performed online but intended to cause real-world consequences…. Human-flesh searches highlight what people are willing to fight for: the political issues, polarizing events and contested moral standards that are the fault lines of contemporary China.
An interesting video about how you memory work?
It is about chemicals that creates a new connections.
Wrestling with the question, “How do you embrace your customers via collaboration and hyper-sociality in Product Innovation?”
The following is a series of snippets captured during a wide-ranging dialog in response to the questions above.
Taking someone who is an expert at what they do and through innovation, make them as “stupid” as the next guy. Is it any wonder that long-term employees resist change that comes from innovation?
When you innovate you’re impacting a person’s status in the organization. Some clients with new product development reset the clock on internal communities of practice so that everyone is effectively “returned to zero status.” Which means everyone gets the opportunity to re-earn their place in the product development and innovation process.
Creating robust communities where none exist is a challenge in the realm of enabling technologies. Those technology companies, or even service providers to those technologies, need to think about going where those communities naturally form; e.g., support forums that are user-generated within specific industry sub-segments are one area to explore. What can you do to better support their mutual self-help behaviors? Feed their desire for reciprocity and fairness.
That reciprocity is changing the way we think about our business. Engaging with tribes is a paradigm shift. What you know is no longer the key success driver, it is who you know and your ability to execute based on the information you share with each other. It’s no longer a one-way transaction. It’s an ongoing exchange.
New open source platforms are creating the environment for tribes to form that are self-regulating, self-generating communities. The challenge for existing companies is to cross over to that kind of communal collaboration which may require them to cannibalize their existing business model.
WoW (World of Warcraft) is such an example. It is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that has a tribe dedicated to creating new weapons that can be used within the game environment. Completely user-generated which is emblematic of the game play itself which is driven by collaboration, fairness and reciprocity.
Being open and collaborative in the face of the desire to protect intellectual property is a huge challenge. As we attempt to embrace hyper-sociality the conflict that will generate will become greater and greater.
Older, existing companies lose the attention and commitment of younger employees because the younger employee doesn’t see reciprocity and fairness in action. They don’t see ways in which they can engage in a meaningful way. If you don’t create that engaging environment you are losing the opportunity to build on their perspectives as you innovate.
Don’t forget your customers who are saying, “We just want a better product. We want our problems solved. But if I don’t give the requirements and features to the right person, I’m not going to be able to drive to the result I’m looking for.” They have communities too, that we often neglect because we don’t listen effectively or capture what they are saying and seek to understand it.
One participant asked: “Can we find a way to embed fairness as a currency for reward and recognition in our enterprises?” There is a whole world of exploration in this area in terms of customer engagement in the product innovation process. How might we better recognize the human-centricity of our efforts.
At this point the concept of “love marks” was raised. How might we converting our brands into “love marks?” Love is earned. You don’t claim love; it is conferred on you by your clients because of their experience of your products and services. A client who loves you is a more willing collaborator in the development of your products and services because they are emotionally invested in its success. Success validates their support and love.
We then explored how the current platform for post sales engagement, especially in the software industry, impacts the customer experience. The way in which maintenance agreements are sold and supported came into focus.
In the customer support arena service the notion of giving up maintenance agreements as a revenue stream is unthinkable for many organizations. It is such a high margin service that to hand it over to customers would be considered product homicide. And yet many customers are losing or have lost their faith in the value of a maintenance agreement.
Somewhere there is someone looking to take our business away by doing it better, faster and cheaper than we can. That’s true not only of our products but also how we support our products.
We need to become human-centric. Not customer-centric, especially if we consider customers at only the company level and not at the personal level. It is not a matter of having customer executives talking with our executives. We need to engage with, support and collaborate with people who know us wherever they are. Meet them on their level in their tribe, or lose them forever.
At a strategic level we struggle with information overload on multiple fronts. How can I better extract the information I need to inform the choices I need to make at a strategic level about including customers across the board in our efforts? It comes down to culture. Using culture as a platform for engagement that promotes sharing, reciprocity, fairness and engagement will drive most of our strategic choices and how we implement and execute against them.
The Big A-Ha! Moments:
Wrestling with, what if someone chooses to not purchase maintenance for our product? We need to accelerate having conversations that address this head-on is key. Customers don’t want to pay this “insurance fee” and the moment they can find a lower cost, good-enough alternative they will leave immediately. Those who find another model of getting paid to support and engage with tribes on their level will survive.
Whether we recognize it or not we deliver an experience through and around our products. If maintenance is the delivery of “hope.” We need to change our customers’ experience of maintenance.
Defending maintenance, customers are willing to pay the maintenance fee if they feel their voice is heard. We need to make our customers feel like they have been heard.
The biggest obstacle we face is company culture and the way it reinforces the present business model.
What would you do differently?
Starting to understand something is one perspective, but being able to do something about it is the only place where meaningful change can occur. Full engagement with existing tribes is critical.
Making sure that we invest in your customers’/users’ tribes so that we are closer to their experience of our products and services helps build the relationships necessary to influence long-term behaviors. But we cannot change that behavior directly. We must to commit to a long-term relationship with our customers and follow where they are leading us so we can be ready to credibly meet them where and when they need us.