Rogues & Innovation

Recently Josh Bernoff wrote in Marketing News about his work at Forrester Research on HEROs - Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives*.  These are people that are in the quadrant of empowered AND technologically savvy.  The definition of empowered is self stated.  The definition of tech savvy is quantitative - have you downloaded two apps or logged-in to two unsanctioned sites. The HEROs are those that score high on both categories, and it is more likely that you will be a HERO in an Information company than in Government work.

Josh believes that making your company more HERO oriented will help make your organization more innovative.  There are three recommendations that he levels out, two of them deal directly deal with technology.

He suggested that companies use tools and systems to promote innovation - and we support this position as well.  In our Social Innovation Study of December 2010, we found that some of the best performing companies were systematically using technology to augment innovation.  This augmentation happened with internal ideation (BrightIdea, Spigit) and external ideation (crowd-sourcing & strategic inputs).

His second recommendation also paralleled our study findings which it to promote the use of "consumer" and "individual" social tools for innovation.  We found several examples in our study population where LinkedIn and Twitter was used to help innovation and product development.  In some cases, for example, LinkedIn has been used as a place to trade software scripts.  We hear frequently of organizations using Twitter to conduct quick, short but effective product development surveys.  Rather than having IT and Legal fight the use of social networking, reduce the friction between the HEROs and the Organization and let the ideas flow.  Otherwise, you will turn the HEROs into Rogues.

*MarketingNews, Viewpoint, 12.30.10, p. 14