Stop Pretending, and Start Innovating

I saw a really interesting position listed on the vacancies list called Head of Innovation the other day. I love the idea of innovation and I have sometimes been called ‘innovative’ and it got me thinking, if that were me, what would innovation need to thrive? Innovation doesn’t just happen, I don’t suppose. It needs certain parameters to happen. But what might those parameters be? Too restrictive and innovation is stifled. Too broad and nothing ever gets done. So what are the components of innovation? Well, here are my ideas:

 

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PIES at your meeting

PIES. Yum. Who doesn’t like pie?

Pie

Pie

But on this occasion, I’m not talking about a tasty pastry and meat/fruit filling, oh no. I’m talking about a method of co-operative learning developed by Dr Spencer Kagan and that I learned whilst I was teaching. I recently thought that this model might be really useful to apply to modern, grown up meetings too. It works like this:

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Of, by and for…why a co-operative should be a perfectly promotable business model

The co-operative is currently going through a bit of a tough time which got me thinking back to some work I did a while ago to try to help express the uniqueness of a co-operative business model.

One of the things I explored was about businesses having to excel in one, two or three aspects…most can’t do all three, but I believe a co-operative is uniquely placed to utilise this model…

Businesses need to:

  • Be of the customer: a business that shares the values of its customers 
  • Be by the customer: a business that is shaped and run by its customers
  • Be for the customer: a business that is focused on an excellent customer experience

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A year to change the world

I return to blogging inspired and enthused…I’m going to try to blog every two weeks about my new position:

Writing a communications and engagement strategy for The Co-operative Membership by December 2013.

Clearly, I’m not going to talk about the details on here, but processes, ideas, thoughts, how it’s going and the like and share my revelations (or not!). The first being to think about why on earth an engagement strategy would even exist…

In most other businesses, the idea of engagement is relatively simple – it drives trade. For our co-operative, engagement has to do more than that. Co-operative members engaging with a core set of values and principles does far more than just drive trade – it can lead to loyal ambassadors and advocates of a fantastic idea of members coming together to meet social, economic and cultural needs and aspirations. Awesome starting point then. In fact, it could be too huge! There are so many things that member engagement could encompass – I’ll need to focus on the core principles of what it means to be co-operative and the benefits that may bring to the business.

Wish me luck!