What's the effect of competition.

I have been exercising my mind as to what kind of innovator is going to put their time into this process. On the face of it what's in it for them. Or rather as a social entrepreneur what's in it for me.

My focus is my organisation why should I help others (who may in the future be competing for service delivery contracts) develop. Ive provided some ideas about this in my comments on the model but i think if this bid is to be successfully the logic for participation must be crystal clear. Hence this post and the hope of encouraging some discussion.

Other areas that are immedialy obvious to me are collaboration between mutually compatible organizations. So I can improve the quality, quantity and responsiveness of of my services by working with organization close to... but not in my competitive space.

Traditional models of economics may help here (see M Porter on value chains and networks).  read more »

Knowledge Sharing and Communities of Practice

This is a report we did for Yorkshire & the Humber Regional Forum for the Voluntary Sector. They wanted a 'regional research resource' but we wanted to think in terms of a 'regional research community' that happened to share its resources. The result is a mix of news service, discussion gropus and archiving.

In relation to the innovation exchange, we would want to add a specific on-line community, but that is another story.



Guardian contact anybody?

I'm just drafting a list of the activities that may be included in the Innovation Exchange. One is around media and communications and the idea of awards. However this award programme already exists:

Does anyone know anybody who is associated with these awards at the Guardian?

Diffusion of Innovations and Open Learning Systems

OK - model version 1 looks good - but be careful - availability bias means that it is very easy to believe that the model you have is complete when that may not be the case.


A few points:

Firstly, can I just mention that I'm not very keen on the idea of
labelling things with roles 'innovator',
'replicator', 'mentor'. Although you make clear people might perform
multiple roles, most people most of the time sit in one role. I would
prefer abstract verbs - innovate, replicate, mentor. I'm not going to
get upset if we don't do this in the bid, but it does colour what I say
below.  read more »

Helping make stuff happen - let's get networky too

We now have a strong model for ways we can manage connections between innovators, replicators, delivery agents, investors and service users, supported by mentors.

However, a lot of innovation is also seeded by chance connections. People meet, talk, inspire each other, try things ... stuff happens. That's reflected in blog posts and comments here. Michele Martin recomends looking at networks, and Geoff Ashton picks up the theme referencing The Tipping Point. An anonymous commenter says cut the complex models, give us 10 words to talk around.  read more »

Concept - The Movie

Click to Play

There has been a call for futher explanation of the model we have presented for the Innovation Exchange and so we have produced an animated movie presentation with audio narrative.

Model Version 3.1 in powerpoint format

An animated powerpoint presentation of version 3.1 of the model is attached. An audio commentry to go with it can be downloaded here. The two things combined into a quicktime movie can be viewed here.

Comments encouraged!

Charity Finance covers the Open Innovation Exchange

We've had some terrific coverage from Charity Finance on the proposal. OK, I'm quoted rather well, so I'm biased, but Tania Mason has really captured what we are trying to do, including the point that if we win, some of the funds will be available to others.

Tania says that our proposal is in competition with one from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the Young Foundation. Maybe this will build on the Launchpad programme they are developing with an impressive team and list of partners.  read more »

On Networks

It might be helpful to look at some resources on the formation and nurturing of networks as part of this process. There's a great paper on nonprofit networks called Net Gains:

I also wrote a series of posts on this a few months ago (scroll to the bottom to start):

Creative evaluation, anybody?

Can I put in a plug for the notion of 'creative evaluation' of projects? I've had plenty of experience over the years, as commissioner of research and as writer of project evaluation reports, which leaves me feeling stifled by the box-ticking approach we're expected to take. Typically the evaluator is expected to serve up a statement of project objectives, an account of what happened, and is required to answer the question of whether the stated objectives were achieved. On a good day we get to hear about all the unanticipated outcomes. There is usually a nod (or a bow or a curtsey perhaps) in the direction of some kind of objective neutrality. No wonder there is so much shelfware about.

Could we start taking seriously the notion that an 'evaluation' is an opportunity for more creative exploration of the issues that have been brought to the surface? Most of these reports cannot be expected to be fully objective; but they could be more penetrative, more interpretative, and often could be expected to bring-in a wider range of experience to enrich the reflection on the project lessons.

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