Global Innovation Roll-Up: The Butterfly Effect, Crowdsourcing, and the 2014 Innovation Index

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Arwen Heredia

August 29, 2014

This August, we focused on the global and growing nature of innovation as an initiative. No longer an ambiguous buzzword, innovation has become a strategic imperative for competitive organizations, and it’s becoming quite clear that the impact starts and ends with encouraging collaboration, ideation, and empowering individuals.

From the global butterfly effect to startup tips and the everyday impact of crowd science, the human factor of innovation is evident and inspiring. Check out some of our favorite posts from August, below.

Global Innovation Index 2014: The Human Factor

“As we continue to explore the global effects of innovation, idea management, crowdsourcing, and data science, it’s beneficial to keep an eye on developments and shifting trends in regions all over the world — especially in relationship to the considerable impact innovation has on economics, politics, and emerging industries.

This year’s Global Innovation Index, an annual report that uses a wealth of data to rank world economies’ innovation capabilities and results, focuses on these aspects of innovation through the lens of human contributions on the individual and team level.

The topic of innovation, both theoretically and applicably, is a matter of the utmost importance to today’s competitive companies. Fully understanding how each piece of the process connects and interacts is critical when organizations create policies that are intended to drive economic development and build environments that are more ‘innovation-prone’. Because the GII recognizes innovation’s crucial role in these actions, the annual report is designed to capture and predict trends while demonstrating the implications of where different economies are — and where they’re headed.”

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The Global Crowd: Innovation’s Butterfly Effect

“There’s a common belief around the world that even the most insignificant actions we take can have monumental, widespread impact. It’s the reason every story about time travel centers around staying hidden, unknown, and unobtrusive — even something as seemingly inconsequential as killing a mosquito can change the course of history.

This phenomena is known, of course, as the Butterfly Effect, and its core principle — that minute, localized changes within complex systems can have large effects elsewhere — can be quite justly applied when considering the various innovation processes that take place in different organizations and industries.”

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Humanizing Big Data: The Everyday Impact of Crowd Science

“Using data science techniques — such as data mining, algorithm development, and statistical modeling — on social network and crowdsourced data, crowd science invites psychological and behavioral elements that are not necessarily present in traditional data science. Basically, what we’re seeing is that new elements of behavior are affecting data, such as politics, opinions, and agents interacting with and influencing each other. So, in addition to looking at data in the traditional way, we must now consider political and social structures, and how people learn from and influence each other; we must consider how ideas flow through social networks, what motivates people to contribute to discussions, and the consequences of engagement.

With the interconnectivity of today’s businesses and communities, this level of synergy is exponentially more frequent. This much larger store of data on social structures and phenomena gives us the ability to study and understand these networks and how they evolve. Whereas traditionally scientific data analysis involved careful measurement and often cumbersome collection of data, we now have a vast and expanding resource of data via the Internet that’s enabling us to analyze highly complex systems, like social structures and hierarchal behavior, much easier than ever before.”

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From Crowdsourcing to Execution: How to Use Innovation Software Effectively

“Innovation has lately become a more democratic process for many businesses; ideas can now come from anywhere and anyone in the organization, and still be recognized as valuable, regardless of an employee’s role in the company. Most startups and entrepreneurs understand this, and remain open to ideas and suggestions on how to improve innovation processes. However, many of them find the task of graduating these ideas towards execution — and making innovation repeatable — to be overwhelmingly challenging.

The solution, however, is a simple one: the key to helping small and medium businesses find their place in the world of innovation and compete with big, established players is a robust and flexible innovation platform.”

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3 Steps for Successful Innovation in the Insurance Industry

“Innovation often entails disruption of existing paradigms and transformative breakthroughs. This has traditionally been resisted in the conservative and highly regulated insurance industry, where the integrity of the business is measured in terms of adherence to set procedures.

However, with customer needs changing at a fast pace, and with multiple options available to manage risks, insurance companies may have no choice but to innovate and adapt their business structure to address the fast changing needs of their customers.

While the exact nature of innovative practices varies, what is important is to encourage innovation and creative thought within the organization. Here is a three-step path for successful innovation in the insurance industry.”

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4 Critical Innovation Tips for Startups

“Before the funding rounds and investors come into play, startups don’t usually have access to the same resources established businesses do. Money, business expertise and experience, contacts, well-established brand value, and above all, a loyal customer base, are the foundational elements of keeping a business alive. But what are startups supposed to do to differentiate themselves before they have the resources they need?

While clambering through the trenches, innovation is what allows startups to compete as viable competitors. Smart startups do things differently from their more mature competitors, and, in the process of doing so, they have the opportunity to develop their expertise and a loyal customer base.

Innovation, however, is easier said than done, and it goes beyond visualizing or getting sudden surges of inspiration. Here are four critical innovation tips for startups that want to truly set themselves apart.”

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  • Omar Mora

    In my humble opinion, we need, as companies, to understand and embrace that continuous improvement and innovation are part a cycle, the same cycle. Promoting Innovation as an entire “different initiative” than Improve (let´s say Operation Excellence, LEAN Six Sigma, etc.) may be counterproductive, an unnecessary “silo” effect. Nevertheless, let us keep pursuing better processes, products. We use #MindManager with our customers (small business) to help them build a continuous-improvement-&-innovation-platform. It works. Not only because #MindManager is a great, flexible tool, but, because, competitiveness is formed project by project, from minor and major improvements and inventions. Greeting from @Blackberry&Cross.