Innovators Are Conversation Architects
Social media may engage the human brain’s “empathy network” just as well as face-to-face conversation does.
The human brain learns by making connections between facts it has already learned, but it creates innovation by making connections between ideas. People cannot innovate by pondering or re-thinking existing knowledge. Innovation thrives on the free exchange of ideas through conversation and interaction with others. The greatest innovators are conversation architects — people who combine diverse people and ideas in new and unusual ways to see what emerges.
People are the only true knowledge repositories, and the human brain is the only tool that can effectively manage knowledge and leverage ideas to create new ideas and innovative thoughts. Innovators, even those who seem exceptionally introverted, actually thrive on orchestrating conversations and social interactions between diverse people, and then observing the flow of conversations, mining for innovation and new ideas.
When people with disparate backgrounds come together for the purpose of innovation, the conversation always involves knowledge sharing. By pooling new knowledge from outside the usual sources, the conversation inevitably leads to the generation of innovation and new ideas.
Well-designed social media is as good as physical conversation for the exchange of ideas, but only when it creates the same feelings of acceptance, trust and understanding as physical conversation. The conversational capabilities of most social media have been lost or cheapened by marketing hype and the addition of intellectually empty features designed to present the illusion of social connection where no real connection exists. Meaningless “likes” or reciprocal “endorsements” don’t create a social bond, and in fact erode the ability to engage in meaningful conversation and knowledge sharing.
When designed for conversation and the true exchange of ideas, social media engages the human brain’s “empathy network” just as well as face-to-face conversation does, and both types of conversation allow for observation, listening and reacting to new ideas. To use social media to become an innovator, the conversational architect must seek out progressive sites where a trusted contributor’s worth is based on conversational contributions and the value of shared knowledge rather than measured in meaningless clicks. Social media designed for conversation encourages and facilitates the free exchange of knowledge and ideas and will always attract people interested in true innovation.
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Within this context, I've been working for decades on how to improve and sustain stakeholder engagement and have developed the framework Strategic Relational Engagement (SRE).
If you're interested to know more, you can hear a five-minute interview at http://www.radiofrontier.ch/shows/business-intelligence/business-intelligence/ or read some articles at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nadine-b-hack/ watch the four-part ten-minute podcasts I did when I still was calling it Highly Relational Engagement (HRE), or, if you're a real die-hard, watch as much as you'd like of a one-hour video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wzyOVMXYdI.
You also can read a much shorter article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2011/05/03/how-deeply-engaging-stakeholders-changes-everything/ on HRE/SRE.
I’ll also speak on this topic at TEDx event in Geneva on Feb 19 2013.
Jan 16, 2013
Here is the interview of Nadine Hack about SRE:
The Video is available on XperLink here :
Jan 16, 2013
I think that innovation is a process (the definition in the post -'combine
diverse people and ideas in new and unusual ways to see what emerges' - also
points there), and that 'Conversations' could be seen better as a tool or
In the other hand, Innovation has a point of loneliness...
Yesterday I saw a documental (Spanish TVE,2) about Elías Querejeta, a Spanish
flim producer ( it's amazing how the guys on the Film business work; ¿is ti
because there are no limits to innovation there?). He looks booth, as a lonely
man and a great ‘conversator’.
About a reference to Innovation, I've used the Gartner Group's Hype
Cycle schemes. It is interesting to have an idea of how the results of your
innovation are evolving.
Jan 16, 2013
I would not see innovation as a process that one can organise, manage, decide - it is a fact, an event. You may set people in condition to innovate (and this is my point here).
The creation, or the innovation realization is something different, that is, you're right, a process.
Jan 17, 2013