Some people find inspiration staring out of the window or during their morning run. Many look to emulate role models. Some are inspired by music while for others, ideas unfold in quiet contemplation. However, when it comes to enterprises, where it’s not just about coming up with a concept but developing
and executing it, innovation is almost invariably driven – and accelerated – by collaboration. Speed to market can be a vital competitive advantage, so you can’t afford to sit around in splendid isolation waiting for inspiration to strike.
If your organisation is like most, it may be somewhat internally focused or suffer from “groupthink”, where the desire for
conformity means teams reach consensus without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints. So it’s vital to source
ideas from beyond your own four walls.
Given that it’s not companies that do business, but people, it’s perhaps surprising that social media have only recently
become a force for organisational change and business value. If you want to know what your customers want,
guesswork isn’t good enough and a speculative market research campaign could lose you vital momentum and
still not yield a representative sample. Besides, asking people directly what they want or what their pain points are out
of context doesn’t always elicit a reliable response. So it makes perfect sense to listen in to the authentic
conversations your prospects and customers are having about your products, services, brand or industry, to not
only understand but anticipate their wants, needs and preferences.
Our World of Innovation heat map brings this concept to life. We’re monitoring conversations
across the globe to find out where the biggest buzz is coming from on key topics. Some interesting
trends are already beginning to emerge. Early indications are that the “top talkers” about innovation
worldwide are (in order) Germany, US, UK, Brazil and France, while Libya, Tanzania, Croatia and
Kazakhstan are the quietest.
The biggest conversations are revolving around lifestyle and business innovation, while the least common
subject is science. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hottest topic in Germany is business innovation but less predictably,
Germans are also having more conversations about cultural and sporting innovation than their US counterparts.
Brazil outstrips the UK in mentions of technology, while The UK and US were the most retail-obsessed, whether
because of or despite their subdued economies.
This is just a bit of fun, but can we infer anything useful from the tool and the data? Firstly, it’s clear that there
are rich sources of insight to be investigated by tapping into social channels and drilling down into the conversations
themselves. Secondly, with the exception of Brazil, there is much less social activity around business, science
and technology going on in the BRICs economies than you might expect.
And lastly, if you are looking to launch a new sports-related product, you may find there is a more receptive
market in Basel than Barcelona. Who knew?