Monday, August 5, 2013

Have you thought about writing a book about innovation?

It seems like everyone is writing a book about innovation.  There are certainly some famous authors and specialists (with great experiences from the innovation world) out there who can write books on the topic.  

For instance, my fellow blogger Gijs Van Wulfen recently wrote a great book, “The Innovation Expedition” that strives to enable business people with a visual toolkit for starting the innovation process.  I think his work can serve as a manual for the uninitiated.  So…he did it.

Writing A Book
I’ve thought of writing a book on the topic of innovation as well.  I still might. I did write a 33 page white paper aggregating the first year of my blogs back in 2010.  You can read it here. But that’s a pretty short book.

It seems I should be able to amass all the blog entries I’ve contributed since then into a single volume and title it “Achieving Adoption and Engagement Success with a Collaborative Innovation System Deployment”.  Stand by for that…for the moment I have a day job helping large organizations acquire licenses to those systems.  Plus that title sounds boring even to me.

Collaborating On A Book
Earlier this year, in May, I was asked to participate in writing a chapter of a new book.  The book is designed to be a textbook for University students in Eastern Europe studying business and innovation.  

Our chapter focused on 

  • the current state, 
  • the new challenges 
  • and trends that are emerging concerning 

"Managing communication and creative ideation for sustainable innovation". 

Working with an assistant professor (from the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, covering subjects in business communication) and an Associate Professor (of Technology Management and Innovation from a university in Florida), we first responded to a sketch for the paper, then the extended abstract for submission, and finally the working paper. There is no publication fee.  This is a noncommercial project that will produce a doctoral conference and a three volume book for engineers and managers in Eastern Europe.

The book will be part of the "Engineering Management - Challenges for the Future" publication.

We first wrote the title with "sustainable innovation" at the end, trying to accent that “innovation needs to perpetuate”, but realized it could bring confusion (misleading to environmental-related innovation).   "Continuous innovation" was a bad choice also, as it relates to a specific type of innovation. Also, we want to concentrate on the creative potentials of both the company employees, the company external partners and users. Hence the title we selected:
"Improving open innovation: Challenges for managing communication and creative ideation".

Two PhD.’s And A Sales Professional
Working with two academics can prove intimidating.  Their contributions were heavily footnoted with citations from research.   

My work on the other hand is a combination of 

  • best practices gleaned from deployments, 
  • anecdotes from users of collaborative innovation systems, 
  • and intuitive leaps engendered by psychological/sociological studies I read from other fields. 

Any confidence I have in my method is supported by the “TRIZ” theory of innovation which subscribes to the notion that an innovation useful in one industry should be portable and useful in another.

It is much easier to write by yourself.  You pick your topic, you gather your material. You get it on paper using the grammar skills you learned in school.  Hopefully it will be well written, informative, entertaining and engaging. 

Collaborative Writing
Working with two collaborative writing partners is harder.  You have to take turns.  You have to be respectful of others contributions.  Someone has to take the bull by the horns and make decisions about what goes where (and what gets left out).  By the way, on this project that person wasn’t me. 

The process took about three months.  We generated about 18 pages (almost five of which were those footnoted citations). 

Being Proud Of One’s Work
I write these blogs thinking the practices we learn out in the field might prove useful to readers who are administering collaborative innovation social networks or idea management systems.  The book chapter serves the same purpose…students (readers) should be able to read the material and walk into a project for idea crowd sourcing armed with a reasonable foundation.  They should be able to set goals, outline a launch plan and manage expectations.  So I think it was a successful endeavor.

What’s Next?
So I can claim credit for having written at least a hundred blogs (on innovation, customer experience management, enterprise feedback management and voice of the customer).  I can also claim credit for writing a lengthy white paper on innovation.  Now I’m a co-author of a chapter on innovation in a textbook for future business leaders.

Stand by for that book.

Ron Shulkin blogs, researches and writes about enterprise technology focused on social media, innovation, voice of the customer, marketing automation and enterprise feedback management.  You can learn more about Ron at his biography web You can follow him Twitter. You can follow his blogs at this Facebook group.  You can connect with Ron on LinkedIn.   

Ron Shulkin is Vice President of the Americas for CogniStreamer®, an innovation ecosystem. CogniStreamer serves as a Knowledge Management System, Idea Management System and Social Network for Innovation. CogniStreamer has been rated as a “Leader” in Forrester’s recent Wave report on Innovation Management Tools. You can learn more about CogniStreamer here . Ron also manages The Idea Management Group on LinkedIn (JoinHere).

1 comment:

Gijs van Wulfen said...

Hi Ron. Thanks for the compliments on The Innovation Expedition. Can't wait for your 1st book, after reading your post :-).


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