Collaboration or action?

All the members of this group met in Bristol last night. Although we have come together through existing strong links between individuals, this was the fisrt time we'd all got together. A stimulating conversation was had. I still haven't digested it all but a couple of the things to emerge immediately for me were:

- I think it is important that the focus of the innovation exchange is not 'innovation' per se. I think the focus must be on 'action'. It must be about helping innovators achieve practical things, overcome barriers, that lead to better services for end users. If the Innovation Exchange can provide real services that can remove or lower barriers AND innovators know that the Innovation Exchange exists* then the motivation for innovators to participate will be clear.

- Is there an innovation process? Or are there lots? Or do things just happen? Does innovation always start with an individual innovator or can whole
organisations innovate? I'd appreciate the views of others on these
issues - please join in with your own blog or just comment on this one - click on the 'Register' link below.

* Are you a potential media partner??



Can only individuals innovate

I suspect that individuals NEVER innovate. It's encounters between people, situaitons and contexts that generate real innovation. It's the sparks that fly when we get together that really produce suprises. How often have you come up with your best ideas just by sitting in the bath? Even in the bath, it's something someone said, or something you noticed.

Of course, the sparks have to be followed up by individuals who want to shape things and make stuff happen. That can be a very individual and lonely road!

Just my 2p


Sparking off others

I think this is so true. I definitely get all my 'ideas' from talking to other people and joining things up. I'd also say that this almost always happens face to face rather than online.

If innovators do this then perhaps it will be less of a problem to get them to participate in events than we think.



Arthur Koestler in his book

Arthur Koestler in his book The Thirteenth Tribe related that in the 11th century a tribe living by the Black Sea knew how to treat innovators and inventors: "This one is clever enough to be with God" So they freed him by hanging him in a tree until he rotted away.

It illustrates that all change is threatening - and always has been and always will be. All innovators and inventors have to be heros and martyrs to their ideas.

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