Innovator Groups

Few weeks have gone very fast and now I am back from the basement chamber. I have been reading lots of books (in my chamber) about innovation and how to make innovation work. In addition to that I had fun time on my vacation with my family at Ruka and after that I spent week skimming the pile of e-mails. That was shortly what has happened during last few weeks, so let’s get started!

Earlier my noble idea was that everyone should innovate but after reading thoughts of respected authors I must admit that it won’t work. Everyone should have opportunity to innovate but the fact is that there are only small amount of people in organizations or in community who are interested in innovation. Usually they are people who always see gaps or improvement ideas in existing products, services, processes etc. Those people who have fresh ideas must be supported and also connect with other people in other parts of organization or community.

We have ideas.symbian.org that has over 1000 ideas submitted by the “innovators” in the community. I was wondering how those innovators could be supported and connected? How their energy could harness to create more focused innovations? I think that if we put more focus on ideas that fits in to Symbian Foundation’s strategy then we could have more competitive platform (in a long term) on the market.

Everyone who has involved somehow to innovation knows that 99% of innovation is perspiration and 1% inspiration. Perspiration means work and without work there are no innovations nor innovative environment. I was wondering if it could be possible to create some innovator groups that have different focus areas. For example, some group is interested innovating around multimedia domain and another around internet domain. Groups have frequent sessions for example once in three months and they brainstorm and generate new ideas to certain area. The result of the session could be for example new features to the package or some solution to the existing problem.

Then the tricky part is organizing this kind of groups and activities. The most active innovators can be found from leaderboard of the ideas.symbian.org, but they can live in different places even different continents. Usually brainstorming is done by the group in same place, face to face. I am not sure how this kind of brainstorming could be done by online tools. Maybe someone has some ideas or experience in using them? I think that this kind of activity could help in creating environment that permits innovation, but it needs perspiration. Thanks for reading!

Symbian Foundation: Creating Nimble Environment That Permits Innovation

Introduction

My name is Petri Poikolainen and I am currently working in Finnish information and community technology company called Digia. My work relates closely to Symbian development and I am currently Digia’s representative in Symbian Foundation’s Release Council. If you like to hear more about Digia or my work in Release Council you can find my contact information from the About the Blogger section.

“Create Nimble Environment that Permits Innovation…”

…is the name of the task that I volunteered in the last Release Council Workshop in London. The workshop topic was “How will Symbian OSS change the way mobile phones are delivered in the future?” and almost all release council members were present. We had great time finding out the most important topics which were: Innovation, Cost & Speed, Biz Models, Visibility and Collaboration. Under the most important topics we defined (almost) concrete actions that are implemented by the community members.

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So, why am I writing this blog article? I am writing this because the action, that I volunteered, is so broad and I cannot implemented it by myself. I need all help that is available and I try to inspire other community members to think what innovative environment in Symbian Foundation means for different stakeholders? I would like to hear opinions and views from different stakeholders: developers, package owners, member companies, council members, code contributors and so forth. All comments and ideas are welcome, they are contributions to Symbian Foundation community 🙂

If everything goes like in the movies we will have lots of good ideas which narrow the broad scope. We will identify the most important factors that creates nimble environment for innovation. After this we might be ready to create more concrete actions that are related e.g. to tools that enables innovation, methods or processes, the best practices and so forth.

What Enables Innovative environment?

I like to share my opinions about innovative environment enablers. I think that the most important enablers are openness, collaboration and sharing. I am sure that there are more important enablers and if you notice that something is missing, please collaborate and share your opinion with others 🙂

Openness, Collaboration and Sharing

Symbian Foundation has been acting openly since its beginning and this is a right track. How we can act openly by ourselves in Symbian Foundation? If we start to work openly in community it would help to boost up innovation and every member can tap the innovation potential of the community. Ideas.symbian.org is good example from openness from ideas point of view. Somebody shares idea and if the idea is interesting it gets comments and the original idea may get even better.

Innovation does not usually happen by single person sitting on the coach watching the famous sitcom (good ideas may arouse during watching the TV :). My belief is that innovation happens when collaborate and share ideas, comments, views, solution proposals. The collaboration is also one key for successful community. If we don’t collaborate and we trust only on heroic efforts of individuals it won’t last forever.symbian_idea_toaster

Without sharing we cannot create environment that permits innovation. Everybody must share something: views, opinions, ideas, comments, code and so forth. Sharing builds the community spirit, accelerate discovery, spur the innovation in the community. You are what you share.

All members can benefit if start to build “nimble environment that permits innovation”. Developers can share their ideas and ask help for certain coding challenges, they can help others who are struggling with the development. Member companies can tap the innovativeness of community in their own R&D activities: there are always talented people outside the company borders. Package owners can direct the community being open and collaborate with community inspiring them to contribute for the common good.

What next?

As said earlier this is very broad topic and I need your help to understand what “nimble environment that permits innovation” means to different stakeholders: developers, package owners, member companies, council members, platform contributors and device creators? I have opened discussion thread in Symbian Foundation Forum where we can discuss more about this topic. Of course you can comment this blog post directly and share comments immediately. I will use comments and discussions to narrow the scope and try to find the most important things that are refined forward. I believe that in some point we will have concrete and doable actions which drive the Symbian Foundation community to more innovative community.

Thank you for reading this post!

Further Reading:

  1. Wikinomics – How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott & Anhtony D. Williams
  2. We-think: Mass Innovation, Not mass production by Charles Leadbeater