Two years ago, Chris Anderson delivered a TED Talk about Crowd Sourced Innovation. The idea was simple: Internet access was creating what was effectively a global laboratory online. The Crowd phenomenon signified that billions of individuals were more connected than they ever had been before. In just one of his examples Anderson outlines the path of progress:
“Kids in Japan are taking moves from a YouTube video created in Detroit, building on it within days and releasing a new video, while teenagers in California are taking the Japanese video and remixing it to create a whole new dance style.”
But there’s more to this global phenomenon. Recently, Tech Crunch published an article titled “The Cloud Will Cure Cancer.” This is the other side of this new paradigm — The Cloud — millions of computers sharing the load and more capable together than they ever could be apart. The article makes a compelling case: shared research, data correlation and computational capability on a global scale translates to “exponentially faster medical progress.”
As the Cloud/Crowd continues to grow — in every arena — innovation accelerates as it must.
So why is any of this relevant at the corporate level? I was thinking of this just the other day when someone asked me whether Social Media was really relevant to the success of a company. And to that I would say it is not just relevant — it has become one of the most effective ways a company has to foster innovation.
No matter how small or large a company is, innovation is enhanced by collaboration, and collaboration is fostered by connections. Social Media both facilitates and accelerates connections. Ideas can be tested on a grand scale, quickly and effectively. Information can be disseminated almost instantaneously, both up and downstream. Everyone has a voice.
And all of this starts with the establishment of Social Media mechanisms that a company can use to connect with it’s employee base, everywhere they are. Many companies make the mistake of thinking Social Media is meant simply for recreational activity. But it is so much more than that — it is a tangible, authentic, and active connection to everyone that makes up that company. And for any company that hopes to succeed in the 21st Century and beyond, that kind of connection is just plain necessary.