Thursday, July 7, 2011

Innovation speed dating, trust and implementing social media

As a change agent who hangs his hat in the social media arena, I want to start bringing some of my learnings from driving change into the social media discussion in a more overt way.  Why?  Because as I continue to wander around the social media landscape, I continue to find great similarities to the simple fact that getting people to adopt social media across within the organization is a game of change.

Back in 2008, I gave a talk called Innovation Partnerships:  Being the benevolent virus which highlighted the key behaviors to building a successful partnership for an innovative offering.  One of the most important steps in building innovation partnerships is approaching the creation step differently.  In my talk I call it Being and Innovation Speed Dater.  Why a speed dater?  Because when you speed date you only have a few minutes to decide whether you want to go out on that date.  If you can't decide, someone else might steal the date from you.  And to be a speed dater you need to have the right mind set when you are learning about you potential partner.  Below is a slide that highlights my point (from the talk link listed above)

What you see here are how the innovation extraction/speed dater mindset is different.  In my experience over the years I see most people taking a lean back, skeptical and prove it to me approach.  How is this any different in social media?  I am seeing the companies who are leaning forward and taking action as the ones who are winning (my personal experience).  This point brings one story to mind.  I  went to a company to meet with the executives about our products (last fall).  In fact, this executive was invited to be a lighthouse partner for the creation of our product.  He said, I will wait and see then.  When I met with him in the fall, he again said I will wait and see.  Today, his biggest competitor is a client who is leading the charge while he simply waits and sees.  As a lighthouse partner, he would have had a say in how it looked, what it did and even the future roadmap.  Today he probably can sit there saying...look when I buy it I will get it totally finished and didn't have to take the risk to invest all this money to find out it didn't work.  But can he ever really make up for lost time.  Because even when he says yes finally (and I will start working on that soon) he will have to get a whole cadre of people to buy in to do it.  He will be at the starting line, a tortoise, while his competition was the hare, but this hair ran out of the gate and isn't stopping for a nap.

The point is this.  Being an innovation speed dater is about trust, believing in what your partner says and most importantly at the BEGINNING giving them the benefit of the doubt as you EXPLORE what is possible.  Does this you are married forever? NO!  It means you will trust your partner and what they are telling you enough to do an experiment to find out.   Nothing tried, nothing is a saying for ninnies who are terrified to win.  And in social media that statement is one for the dead, because if they don't try there are so many reasons there competition will kill you dead.  Remember the speed of insight is climbing by the second.   I can tell you exactly what people liked and didn't like about #askobama hastag today.  If you standstill the insights are passing you by and if you don't have good won't have a business for long because the DAVID who uses social media will really kick GOLIATH's ass in a guerilla marketing street battle...

If you are desperate enough to look for love in your own an innovation speed dater in your business one!

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