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11 Quick Tips on Social Innovation

31.08.2016

Are you ready to tackle a social problem in your community? We love helping business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators create an impact with social innovation. Today we wanted to share 11 quick tips with you to help you take your social innovation process from good to great. 

1. Tackle challenges that you understand - If you’ve been personally affected by the problem you want to solve, you’ll start out ahead of the competition. You’ll already understand all facets of the problem better than someone who is coming into the process with no prior knowledge. 

2. Focus on people, not problems - An important part of any social innovation project is to talk to the people you want to help. The better you understand how this challenge is affecting the people you want to help, the better able you are to come up with an effective solution. 

3. Build potential to scale - We love open innovation because it allows teams to test things and move fast. But making sure your project is scalable so that it can help the most amount of people is important to build into your social innovation plan. 

4. Create conversations - Both with the people you are trying to help and the people on your team. Social innovation is about helping people. Opening up conversations helps ideas and feedback flow freely. 

5. Run idea competitions - Running an idea contest can help your team get a lot of good ideas for innovation in a small amount of time. You’ll also get more diversity if you open up to the public to submit their ideas. 

6. Push through resistance - Resistance is bound to come up when you’re working with new ideas. Resistance to take on a new idea or concept, and resistance to implementing Pay attention to where this resistance is coming from. If it’s simply fear based encourage your team to push through. Open innovation is about testing out ideas, and you need to get to the prototyping phase to see what potential your idea has. 

7. Invest in a good team - Weather you are running this initiative internally at your company, or as an independent group, investing in a good leadership team is vital to your projects success. Be sure to look for a diverse group of people with different skill sets and backgrounds. 

8. Limit hierarchies - The open innovation process is about being…open. Try to limit the amount of hierarchies and bureaucracy that’s present in your process. Having a decision maker, and holding people accountable to their commitments is important. But remember that the beauty of open innovation is working from the bottom up rather than top down. 

9. Create an innovation process - Before you begin, make sure you have a clear outline of how your process will run. Identify the different stages of your project and how you will move through each one. This will be essential to guiding your team once the ideas start flowing, 

10. Use a good innovation platform - Having a place where people can post ideas, and follow the project through every stage is essential to keeping the processes accountable and open. Using an innovation management platform like WE THINQ can help you create an innovation process and manage your project from start to finish. 

11. Ask for help - Don’t be afraid to reach out to experts during the process. If you need help or are getting stuck a mentor, consultant or coach can prove invaluable. We offer consulting when you sign up to use the WE THINQ platform, but you’re able to find mentors in all sorts of places! 

We hope this is helpful in improving your social innovation process! Let us know if you have any other tips in the comments! 

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