E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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IBM’s 6th iForum – Measuring Innovation by Dean Spitzer

While I have been waiting for clearance the last couple of days on blogging two of the different sessions from the recent IBM iForum I attended in Zürich a few days ago (No response just yet, which is why I have been a bit quiet as well), I thought I would continue by-passing those specific sessions hoping to be sharing some further thoughts on them as time goes by and share with you folks a few thoughts from the speaker session that I have enjoyed the most from the entire event. If I have been talking previously about the Top 3 / 5 sessions, this particular blog post will talk about the Top 1 presentation, at least, for me, for the entire event. Get ready!

First, a little bit of a trip down the memory lane to give ourselves a little bit of background about this particular session. Remember all of the different weblog posts that I have been sharing thus far around the subject of ROI (Return On Investment) for Social Software? Remember how I have been saying for a little while now how the traditional ROI model(s) need to move up further and evolve to help envision a new ROI for the next generation of interactions with social computing? Well, this particular blog entry will actually detail some of the ideas, and thought-provoking concepts, that could lead into that evolution of ROI into ROI 2.0 (For lack of a better term to describe it at this point in time).

The presentation I am talking about, and which I am sure is going to shake the ground quite a bit within the corporate world, was the one put together by one of my fellow IBM colleagues, Dean Spitzer (Performance Measurement Thought Leader from IBM Research), who I have known for a while now, but whose work on measuring innovation has just hit a chord with me based on the various conversations I have been having for some time now on how innovation is starting to get driven by a massive collaboration boost amongst knowledge workers by making extensive use of social computing tools.

You would be able to find the slide deck in Slideshare already, since I have just uploaded it over there, and will also embed it below so that you have a chance to glance through it. In the presentation you would be able to find out some more details as to how businesses need to start moving away from traditional measurement systems and try to adapt to new ways / methods of measuring success, because in most cases what we have been exposed to so far is actually not what we should have been embarking on, but just the easy way out. Now, how many times have we heard that very same thing and still leave things as is? Probably far too many.

Well, this is one of those slide decks that will surely change the way you would be thinking about measurements and metrics within the corporate firewall, and specially within the innovation field. It is a pity that there isn’t an audio recording of this particular keynote session, because you would have enjoyed it quite a bit, I am sure. However, the slides themselves are so self-explanatory on their own that after going through them you would learn a few tips on how to shift those measurements to what you would really need to start measuring…

For instance, Dean comes to talk about four key items to help transform performance measurement for any well developed and thought-out measurement system that would be relevant to every single business and the different interactions taking place to drive innovation further:

  • "Context
  • Focus
  • Integration
  • Interactivity"

And over the course of a good bunch of slides he gets to describe how each of these four key items would pave out a new measurement system that would prove to be much more relevant to the business and which will help measure innovation the way it was always supposed to be.

Like I said, the slide deck is fully loaded with an incredible amount of quotes and knowledge snippets around measurements in general that would help you strike ah-ha! moments one after the other and which will surely help you set the stage for how measurement systems need to change and adapt to the new reality that social computing and collaboration (Yes, the good old Knowledge Sharing / KM) are bringing together once again to help boost your own innovation efforts.

To me, it was one of the best sessions from the entire event, and the main reason being that for the first time in a long long while I saw the traditional measurement and ROI systems being questioned in a such a positive way that it would be too bad for us all to ignore how we could improve them and make them match much closer our own specific needs as more and more enterprises get to adopt social computing to keep driving innovation into the next level: a true partnership between your company, your customers and your business partners

Now it will be up to us to take the baton and figure out how to move forward with things because, after all, "The most important aspects of measurement are the social and organisational, not the technical factors". Yes, that is right, folks! "It isn’t just about the metrics" any longer …

(I was going to share this blog post yesterday, but apparently I was having issues trying to upload the PDF version of the deck to Slideshare, so that you could download it. I am working through the issue, but for the time being I am going to share the presentation materials in PPT without the option to download. As soon as I manage to sort out the problem I will make the PDF file available, and if not I will find another place to share it online for you folks to download it)

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