The article How to Develop a Social Innovation Network, in my opinion, teaches you how not to purse innovation.
“Customers already use social technologies to wrest power away from large corporations. Now employees are adapting social technologies in pursuit of innovations to support these empowered customers; Forrester calls these employees HEROes (highly empowered and resourceful operatives)”
Innovation is not about buzz words (HEROes!) and definitely not about social networking. We talked about innovative masses yesterday and realized that even if there are many end-users out there with some interesting ideas, filtering them for quality and adapting them to satisfy mass market quality is not normally cost effective.
Furthermore, sorting through ideas of varying maturity (from social media such as facebook) to identify innovation difficult at best and a complete waste of time at worst. I remember holding an innovation challenge for employees of a large technology company. Employees could win a prize by describe their innovative ideas in two or there sentences. One employee suggested the company should turn trash into oil. I asked how does one do that? The employee said she was only going to give ideas, how to make them work was the company’s problem! 🙂