42 Use technology to innovate…

YES! AND… Facilitate. Innovate. Transform – Creative Gorilla # 42

New technology can help you to expand how you gain information to spot opportunities or issues.

“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.”

Alice Kahn

Graffiti image

Graffiti Image

Are you making the most of new technology?

Yesterday, I ran with my friend, Elvin Box, a study day for Open University MBA students preparing for their Creativity and Innovation exam.

Elvin was explaining about companies who innovate because they are pushed (e.g. by falling profits or increased competition) or because they are pulled (i.e they are attracted to innovation because they see it as a way to drive more profit or stay ahead of the competition or because it makes life more interesting).

It arose that one way to be a “pulled” company is to have a structured programme of searching for new ideas. That set me thinking.

An easy method to obtain new ideas is to receive a regular e-mail from Springwise (www.springwise.com), which keeps you in touch with new business innovations around the world.

A recent story was about Lewisham Council in London who have set up a web site (please click here) where local residents can upload photographs of graffiti, dumped litter and other anti social incidents they spot in the town.

They upload photographs using software they download from the site and can identify the location. The Council staff then arrange for the removal of the offending item from the streets of Lewisham.

This is great for the upstanding citizens of Lewisham (although you wonder if graffiti artists see it as an opportunity to get their artwork on the web) and I thought what a great idea this would be for companies.

One parallel with Lewisham is to have a Health and Safety web site where staff can upload pictures of potential or real dangers on your sites.

Now imagine if you could encourage your customers to use the service? What kind of pictures could they send in that would be useful for your business to see?


How are you seeking out new ideas for new technology to help you innovate as an independent worker or as a company?

If you work in a company, isn’t this a wonderful opportunity to involve the youngest staff in idea generation by encouraging them to explore how they might use all those gadgets they have to the advantage of the company?


Think how you might utilise digital cameras, 3G telephones and social media sites in your business (have course participants take pictures of each other or of flipchart output?).

Think about how you might use one piece of new technology to improve your work or your organisation.

To Close

After the event last night, Elvin and I needed a beer. We set off to look for a pub but only after twenty minutes of driving did we find one.

Now here’s an idea for pub owners, an iPhone app that guides you to the nearest pub. “Press here for a beer”. That would be a refreshing use of technology,

Couldn’t hep including the rather sceptical quote from Alice Kahn, for those who are not that keen on technology.

Warm regards.

.John Brooker I Facilitate, Innovate, Transform.

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