Corporate Connections Bearing Fruit

More news as soon as I’m allowed to say it but Corporate Connections, our ‘goliath goliath’ open innovation project, (synopsis here) has resulted in at least the beginnings of two unusual corporate liaisons.  In the process of brokering innovative relationships between disparate corporates we are beginning to learn some lessons.  More after our learnings workshop but initially, here are 3 (thanks to Eleanor Ford for her input) Comments welcome!

  1. Networks of Trust: Working with a high-level pre-established network such as H-I’s provides a case study for innovation where the necessary trust required for collaborative  innovation is already set.  What other ready-made business networks are out there that we can galvanise?
  2. Opportunities and Output: There is an urgency and direction to Corporate Connections workshops that go some way to bridging the usual post-workshop ‘innovation chasm’. Having (in a sense) a public commitment to going forwards on a project plus some helpful prodding from the sides (!) seems to add up to action.
  3. The Openness Debate: In The NetworkStructure of Social Capital (2000), Ron Burt argues that more direct connections in a closed network improves communication. It can be said that a ‘closed network’ is the established modus operandi for the H-I Network. There may well be a trade off between the solidity and trust established in a given network and its ability to generate radical innovations due to unexpected connections.  Is this type of innovation destined to lead only to incremental innovations? Watch this space.

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