Connectivity, collaboration and innovation; how will it change us?

Collaboration used to be”hype”. Nowadays it’s social media and the iPad/ Kindle e-readers. The speed of innovation is increasing.  It’s getting harder and harder to divide these topics. In my eyes they are interconnected, and will become even more woven together. How will this change us?

We have moved from a closed in collaboration (software for use only within the organization, document sharing and workflow) towards a more open and including form of collaboration, where Twitter now seems to be in the forefront of the development. The best forms of collaborative activities are those who appear from nowhere, that aren’t planned, in short are anarchistic in their form. That doesn’t mean that they are purposeless, it means that the collaborative need develops from an individual (or small group) that has a motif for finding answers and solutions quickly. The most effective way to get there is to search for other people that might have the answer,a part of an answer or/ and a benefit from participating with you to solve a topic. Because of the relational interaction, collaboration starts to develop. The blending of collaboration and community (social media) happened in the process, because it’s the most effective way to get to the goal.

What we see is that this kind of mindsets can be used generic. It will enable far better ways of knowledge management, collaboration, innovation, product development, project management and so forth. Furthermore it will be put into effect within all kinds of businesses, from education, media business, commercials and nonprofit organizations, production of renewable energy, car production and so forth, all will very soon see the connective collaboration and community as one arena of relational co- existence, where things aren’t as pre- planned as we used to do things. New technology, new tools and the semantic web will be forces that drive this development, or is it the other way around? I don’t think it matters, but I do think that it is what’s happening around us is as we speak.

I’ve spoken of Charles Leadbeater before. I won’t stop doing so, because what he’s been speaking about (innovation and mass creativity) is one of the things we see happens around us in an increasing speed. So I’d advise you to have a look at his homepage HERE. Seen from a different perspective I would highly advise you to look at Kevin Kelly from Wired magazine, a very interesting speech he had in 2008 that can be found at Youtube HERE. Kevin Kelly explains what the web really is in a philosophical way, and where it’s heading (web 3.0). In my eyes both are speaking of something that is going on, not about some distant future, which might happen. We are afraid, afraid of the value that disappeared; now everything is “free” on the web, how to make revenue? Newspaper people are asking this several times a day. Publishers fight the development of “free” Educational institutions are, and corporations are afraid that their competitive advantage is gone if you share all knowledge. I think it’s wrong, I think it’s missing the point of what this leads to.  I do like the postulate Kevin make in the speech “the value is beyond “free” Kevin Kelly argues that the web is, and will even more become something – not “out there” but something that embody us, that we are inside of. What is of value change, and I believe that holding on to what used to be “of value” no longer is a good idea. The change is, as you might guess – tremendous for all of us.

I found the blog of Umar Haque (Director of the Havas Media Lab and founder of  Bubblegeneration) and the posting in Harward Business review  “Twitter’s Ten Rules For Radical Innovators”  and discover that it seems to be a guideline worth while reading for all of us. It just migt give us some hints of how to focus of finding value, and making a living by changing what, why and how we do business into the future.  I suggest you read it for yourself, but here are the bullet points:

  • Ideals beat strategies
  • Open beats closed
  • Connection beats transaction
  • Simplicity beats complexity
  • Neighborhoods beat networks
  • Circuits beat channels
  • Laziness beats business
  • Public beats private
  • Messy beats clean
  • Good beats evil

7 Responses to “Connectivity, collaboration and innovation; how will it change us?”

  1. About sharing data (mentioned by KK in the video) … it is not going to be easy indeed. My experience is that often even earth scientists will feel shy about sharing data (geoscience data just to take an example), even within a same institute or a same team. I’ve too often been confronted to this kind of problem when attempting to aggregate, correlate, LINK data from different sources. The technology is there, the idea is BIG and ready to pop into a meaningful product, and yet it won’t happen but of this shyness. The data is there, we even point you to which cabinet, but no one finds the key to unlock it. Kept for a research or just forgotten, data becomes “the precious” (Gollum voice). You don’t know what to do with it, or don’t have the time to work on it for now, BUT you certainly won’t let that new guy write a paper about it. Data that may have been hard to compile, so it must be good. Lots of good data waiting to be analyzed and interpreted, years pass and it becomes irrelevant or lost … crucial data that could be used to understand and may be predict a natural catastrophe for instance. Projects to share earthquake data in Europe exist for a few years now but the questions remains the same behind the scene. Why should I share? How do I gain by sharing? It’s not always clear.

    For many companies business is about selling data not about selling services. They compile it once and license it forever, preferably on yearly basis. That’s their business. I wonder if I am going off topic… nevermind. I am personally convinced with the sharing idea, just like I’d believe in Karma … but it doesn’t always pay $ … that’s why I don’t see it happening so fast on the web, but I hope I am wrong.

    • Geir Stene Says:

      This is great feedback Joel ! And it’s true, and in my oppinion – to late. Governments, google, organisations, you and I on facebook, twitter, slidehare, youtube, commentsfields in the local online news, and te computer i your (not so old car) are already doing it. As you say we just don’t want the consequences of it, but it’s to late (with the voice from one – or the other character from the “Lord of the ring”) Since we are humans we have allways had a constant resistance of change – still we have embraced the consequenses of change ever since we got a language – isn’t that odd? For the scared of us ( including me) I’de say it’s to late. The digital world isn’t something outside our lives – it’s something we live, everyday within. That’s why I believe that what we should do is to form it, the future is not something happening to us, it’s something we deside upon – if not – it will be something that others shape, and we have to live by. So- it’s … hummm like the line from the cinema “the matrix” do you want the blue – or the red pill?

    • First thanks for the good thoughts and writing on the topic along with links and references (at least two thumbs up).

      I like that the perspective (or plural perspectives, depending on how you look at it) in Joel’s post is added. I am not very aware of the details and I must say that I find the actual laws/enforcement confusing (not so different from the everlasting debates about censorship and the implications in different arenas).

      This perspective added reminds me about copyright and “open-source”. What can be “stolen” and what can be “claimed”. The words themselves are claimed (like the programming-language used) and the ideas (behind their advantages/significance). The copyright creates an illusion of protection of the investments that third-party might consider (and I’d guess for some also an implication of consumer/customer targets willing to pay for the end-product).

      On the other side would I bet quite a bit that the act of copyrighting something also creates a signal that this is actually “worth” re-phrasing to fit outside the actual copyright definition (even if it is intimidating to challenge and/or copy the “success” trend/status/”villainous-greed”).

      Like with all other marketing, does hiding/obfuscating data and code/ideals/ideas/constructions(of the data), also add a marketing value to it (as also open source does). Just look at Microsoft/IBM and many others having expectations/intentions for copyright-registrations related to work-hours/number of employees.

      However, I’d think this value is linked to education/information as the speed circumventing definitions of data and/or manufactured/processed product also influences the rate the information is shared and also that more meaningful/rewarding relations might be from actually sharing since more restrictive policies will be economically inefficient.
      Possibly shared by those circumventing copyright and other marketing-regulations/ownership-regulations first (but not necessarily).

      But, as with Gollum (points to Joel’s post) won’t all bosses/decision-makers/strategy-planners always decide for their(company’s) own good based upon information available and public strategies, but more based upon personal feelings and what the person wants to be right.

      Like completely ignoring the information about suitable customisation useful for the intended consumer target segment for their product. “No, I like those buttons like they are and those colours doesn’t look good”

      Along with “the market is irrational” and all that.

      Variables: Durability and longevity of an idea, definitions, density and quality of education in the field, fear of being removed from “the credits” vs “chance of succeeding on your own”….

      On the other hand, why is it that still, after so many years, does microsoft’s windows products still have this so limited calculator when coding a calculator-program is something I’d think most students in studies teaching programming would handle to recreate within first semester most of the times?

      Perhaps it is optimistic to estimate anything at all? 🙂

    • Geir Stene Says:

      In reply to your very long, and great comments Nina V.

      You discuss the fear of sharing, that a lot of people have. And it’s true, and interesting. I believe it will take some time, but not all that long any more, before people experience the benefits of sharing, and “giving away” It’s like with love, the more you give, the more you will receive back. I’ve often thought JG.Jung and his descriptions of Collective unconsciousness ( and that the development of the relational communication in the internet, have enabled us to become more collective conscious. (see also: French sociologist Émile Durkheim, to refer to the shared beliefs and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. )
      When it comes to copyrights and regulations provided to protect creators of content, this is made in a world, where we are in the midst of a transformation. Terms like “copy left” “Creative commons” are already widely spread.
      You also, quite rightly point at businesses and their need to protect their values. A relevant question asked by an increasing part of people is: What is to protect, when “everything” becomes free? I’ve said something about it (and added some links) on the subject in this newer posting of mine :
      I will love to continue get to discuss this and other topics with you, and I’m sure you will add to my knowledge and make me more knowledgeable. Thanx a lot for your insightful comments!

  2. Geir Stene Says:

    Thanx a lot 🙂

  3. Geir Stene Says:

    Thanx – and I’ll look into your suggestion !

  4. Geir Stene Says:

    Thanx a lot – the feedback form you people pakes me try even harder *S*

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