By Shannon DiGregorio Abram, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable.
Innovation is always a hot-button topic in the technology world – but what about in community management? Besides the use of an innovative technology how can community managers and social business strategists help their organizations to be more innovative?
Last week we shared this presentation, focused on how communities can be powerful tools for product teams in driving innovation.
Communities for Innovation from The Community Roundtable
In addition to some of the great advice contained above I wanted to share some articles we’ve seen recently that provide insight on how to be make innovation part of your daily routine – not just something you think about at a company retreat or during your annual review.
This post by Haydn Shaughnessy is titled “How to Measure Innovation” but really does a great job outlining the idea of defining appropriate metrics and skills that lead to innovative outputs. He highlights community and social business as one of these main skill sets, saying, “To be good at innovation a company needs more than social media presence – it needs to be good at bringing customers into a collaborative relationship and keeping them there”.
Another great post for framing innovation for community managers is from Forbes: “6 Tips On Driving Innovation – Even If You Think Your Boss Will Say No.” The author outlines six ways to get started innovating at large companies. They may seem fairly obvious as you read them: de-risk your ideas, get out of the office, don’t expect everyone to say yes – but they provide a great checklist to review from time to time. Innovation can happen in small ways everyday and taking the advice to heart can help you re-shape the way you think about innovating and make it a daily practice.
Finally, I wanted to share a post that I find helpful in both self-evaluation and in brainstorming effectively. To be a true driver of innovation you must do more than just think innovative thoughts. These five questions to build an innovative culture are a great exercise to complete alone, or with your community team. The seven-step program for innovating right now that Tim includes at the end is a great framework for strength-testing ideas for wider consumption and acceptance and is a helpful jumping off point for anyone that wants to be more innovative, but isn’t sure how.
Have you been thinking about how to be more innovative with your community programs? Have a great innovation resource I missed? I’d love to hear how you’re approaching being a more innovative community manager – and to hear examples the innovative ways you’re connecting with you communities.
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