In some of the most successful companies today, Innovation is constantly being pushed forward†by collaborative groups.† Whether formally organized or not,†teams†like this†use a variety of tools available to share knowledge in a non-hierachical fashion.†
You might†call them ‘Communities of Practice’ or even†’Innovation Committees’ at your company,† but their function is to meet regularly to†openly discuss topics and information germane to their business.† The goal is to solve problems through communication and†to promote new ideas among the members.
Long before companies recognized and formalized any modern approach to innovation, one American forefather created what is recognized as the†very first collaborative group.††Benjamin Franklin organized a group called Junto in Philadelphia which consisted of selected people from†diverse backgrounds and varying occupations.† They†met regularly, usually in a tavern, to†have discussions and try to solve the political issues of the day.† Franklin†felt that a braintrust of people with different perspectives would solve more†problems faster†than any lone individual†ever could.† The small,†dynamic club†discussed anything from philosophical questions†to community problems, political issues, and business affairs.†
Franklin’s†Junto obviously didn’t have cool†web 2.0†tools or†email†to faciliate the sharing of knowledge.† They did their thing†in†an open forum that met weekly and listened to eachother speak†about mutually agreed-upon†topics.† The key to their†productivity was strong organization†and a feeling of equity among its participants.† They†followed a formal order at meetings in which everyone had†the†floor†to share†thoughts in a respectful environment.† Does your company do this† for it’s employees?†
Imagine what you could do with a similar model using the tools available today.††That’s what Flagpole’s (www.flagpole-software.com)†all about!†
You can easily implement a simple, standardized process for†sharing†ideas and knowledge†within your organization.† Your “Discussion Topics” will become the†”Challenges” that you share outwardly.† Your†”Junto†Members” are†your employees†or†coworkers, who†will share their unique perspectives to help you build on ideas and solve problems.