Making Managers Read

A couple of months ago I blogged on the difficulty of “Getting Management Read-in”.

So kudos to IBM for the way they handled their 2007 Innovation Jam as reported by the MIT Sloan Management Review – with upwards of 40,000 online contributions and discussions on how to commercialise R&D innovations, the organisers found that people don’t naturally build on ideas or converge towards solutions when interacting online (unless they have solidified into a consistent working group such as on wikipedia). So they had lots of idea fragments to deal with.

A pass through IBM’s text analysis software produced an initial clustering (lots of it way off beam), and then it was what looks like a month’s good hard slog by fairly senior managers to pull out usable ideas to build on. There’s nothing to beat a good hard read and the careful parsing of ideas through savvy brains in conversation with others. Note the absence of consultants in all of this. This is what I call taking ownership of your own business.

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